After apology, school counselor who solicited minor for prostitution sentenced

After apology, school counselor who solicited minor for prostitution sentenced
Kendrick Padilla (Image: Honolulu Police Department mug shot)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former Kapolei High School counselor who pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution was sentenced Tuesday to three months in jail.

But 40-year-old Kendrick Padilla walked out of court after the sentencing because he had already served 93 days.

Prosecutors said the girl was 15 at the time and that Padilla had found her advertising her services on an adult website.

"Mr. Padilla capitalized on her own vulnerabilities for his own personal needs. He was in a position of trust given his position at Kapolei High School," said Deputy Prosecutor Lynn Costales.

Costales said Padilla appeared to recognize the girl when she came to his home.

"When she appeared at her house and he didn't counsel her and didn't send her on her way. ... Quite the contrary, he invited her and had a conversation with her and ultimately engaged in some sexual acts," she said.

In court, Padilla apologized for his actions.

"I take full responsibility. I've very sorry for what happened here. It's something I'll have to live with," he said.

Victims advocates and legal experts said the three-month sentence was too lenient.

But prosecutors said Padilla agreed to take responsibility for his actions. They said the deal also requires that he register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He also was given five years of probation

David Hayakawa, Padilla's attorney, said his client is not getting off easy.

"For anybody to think he got a light sentence, the jail is not the key issue here. It's the lifetime sex offender registration which dramatically changes these individuals lives," he said.

"No one will hire him. He's extremely limited to where he can live."

Padilla was fired by the state Department of Education in February.

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