Child abuser sent to prison - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Child abuser sent to prison

Judge Virginia Crandle Judge Virginia Crandle
Rita Makekau Rita Makekau

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - An Oahu woman convicted of beating and torturing five children lost her appeal Wednesday to avoid a prison sentence.

The violence in Rita Makekau's home was so bad that prosecutors called it "The House of Torture."

A judge orders the 52-year-old Makekau to begin serving her five-year prison term Wednesday.

"The reasons for the rulings were based on discussions from the state and council for defendants," The honorable Virginia Crandle said. "An overriding concern was for the victims who did not have to testify or confront defendant Makekau."

Prosecutors say she repeatedly abused the kids by hitting them in the teeth with a hammer and shoving broom handles down their throats.

In her defense, Makekau's attorney says she should be kept out of prison because she doesn't pose a danger to the community.

After being convicted months ago, Judge Crandall allowed Makekau to remain free on bail, pending Wednesday's decision.

But Judge Crandall rules against Makekau's appeal, putting her in prison.

After the ruling, Makekau's supporters gathered outside the courtroom. They say state courts have no jurisdiction over her because she's Native Hawaiian.

Makekau pleaded no contest last month to eight counts of assaulting children in a Waianae home.

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