Honolulu, HI — Police sexual assaults in the United States are so common that TFTP cannot possibly cover them all. The underlying theme of all of them, however, is the lack of punishment these cops receive for preying on others, including children. As the following infuriating case out of Honolulu illustrates, cops can and will sexually assault children, while on duty, and receive little more than a slap on the wrist.
Honolulu police officer Kramer Aoki’s case has been in the system for over 6 years as the family of the victim fought to bring him to justice. However, although the case came to an end on Tuesday, the family found out this week that “justice” is entirely arbitrary and favors those who serve the establishment. The cop who sexually assaulted their daughter was sentenced to just two weeks in jail. As an added bonus, he will not have to register as a sex offender.
What’s more, Aoki’s special privilege awarded him with the benefit of wiping all the charges off his record — meaning, if he wanted to, he could be a cop again.
As the Star Advertiser reports, Circuit Judge Kevin Souza sentenced the 41-year-old on Tuesday in the fourth-degree sexual assault case, and granted him a deferral of a no-contest plea. If Aoki complies with the terms of the deferral, the conviction will be wiped off his record and he will stay off the sex offender registry.
According to prosecutors, on Sept. 6, 2014, Aoki pulled over a 17-year-old girl for speeding. During the stop, the girl asked him not to give her a ticket. Thinking this granted him permission to sexually assault her, while the girl was still in his custody, Aoki began groping her breasts. He then gave her back her license and registration and sent her on her way.
After she was sexually assaulted, the girl told her parents who then successfully fought to have Aoki charged. But that was the end of their success. Over the last six years, Akoi has been given preferential treatment as the court kept dismissing his case and lowering the charges.
The crime of sexually assaulting a child — while that child is in an officer’s custody — carries a sentence of five years. Instead of denying that Aoki sexually assaulted the child, his defense argued that she was not in his custody in an effort to have the charge lowered. And it worked.
His lawyer, Thomas Otake, told Circuit Judge Glenn Kim in 2014, “A traffic stop is not custody.”
Deputy City Prosecutor Lynn Costales had argued that while she was not under arrest, the girl was not free to leave because Aoki had her driver’s license and vehicle registration when he touched her — which is the truth.
Nevertheless Kim bought the defense and dismissed the case, despite this cop groping a child.
The case was then refiled in 2015, as a fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor that carries only a 1 year maximum sentence. For his second trial, the court omitted the facts that Aoki was a cop and the girl he sexually assaulted was in his custody at the time. During his second run, this information could not be considered at all by the court — thus, the disgustingly low sentence.
Naturally, the family, who was pushing for the maximum sentence, was furious after the sentencing and pointed out how Aoki had received preferential treatment since the beginning, dragging out the case for years in an attempt to get where they got today.
“He also got a lot of time where six years has gone by, but I believe that was a tactic to see if our family would falter and give up but we stood strong and stood behind her,” the victim’s mother said in court.
“By entering this plea and not going to trial I hope that everyone could move forward and begin to start healing this case has been drawn out for a long time everyone involved they’re cited as well as me I just want to put this all behind us it’s very difficult as well,” Aoki said at his sentencing, likely holding back a “whoohoo, I got away with molesting a teenage girl!”