Florida Man Charged with Sexually Assaulting Oahu Girl Pleads Guilty

Ronette Kawakami
Ronette Kawakami

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- He thought he'd be taking a woman back to his home in Florida. Instead, a visitor to Hawaii will leave with a criminal conviction.

Anthony Waterman, charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old Oahu girl, gives up his court fight and admits his guilt.

"Court is now in session. Please be seated," the court clerk said.

This isn't what Anthony Waterman of Florida planned for his Hawaiian vacation.

"It's been tough for him," Ronette Kawakami, deputy public defender, said. "But he really just wants to go home. He wants to see his family."

So he throws in the towel, and pleads guilty to 13 counts of third-degree sex assault.

"Guilty," the defendant told the judge.

His lawyer says the 34-year-old flew here after a girl he met in an on-line chat room told him she was 25 years old, and sent him sexually-suggestive photos.

According to court papers, the pair hooked up at Waterman's room at an inn in Kaneohe last November. It turns out his on-line friend was a lot younger.

"The 15-year-old girl, who made contact with him, had lied," Kawakami said. "Basically, she told him that she was 25 years old. And based on that, he came out to Hawaii to meet her. He thought he was going home with a bride who was 25 years old."

Under a plea agreement, he could be sentenced to time already served and five years probation. Prosecutors say they cut the deal to spare the victim from testifying.

"For the record, this plea is against advice of counsel," Kawakami told the court.

Waterman must now register as a convicted sex offender, even when he returns to Florida where, his attorney says, the laws are tougher.

"He might not be able to live within 2,000 feet of a school or 2,000 feet of a park, anywhere where children may congregate," Kawakami said. "So it's more restrictive."

Waterman's sentencing is set for September 24th. By that time, he would have spent about 10 months locked up at the Oahu Community Correctional Center.