Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023|
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Two Puna men were sentenced last week in unrelated cases to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting underage girls.
On Sept. 19, 21-year-old Race S. Wroblewski-Rushlow of Keaau was sentenced to a 10-year term by Acting Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto.
Wroblewski-Rushlow pleaded guilty July 13 to kidnapping, two counts of second-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault. In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped single counts of first-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault.
If convicted of the first-degree sexual assault charge, Wroblewski-Rushlow faced a possible 20-year prison term.
According to court documents filed by police, the victim told police Wroblewski-Rushlow took her into a bedroom in his home at about 11 p.m. May 14, 2016, reached into her shorts to grab her buttocks and crotch, then reached up her shirt to touch her breast. The girl reported Wroblewski-Rushlow forced her to perform multiple sex acts. She allegedly cried and told Wroblewski-Rushlow to stop, but he refused. The alleged assault continued into the morning of May 15, 2016, according to documents.
Wroblewski-Rushlow, who had no prior criminal convictions, had been in jail since his arrest in November after being indicted. He was given credit for time served.
On Sept. 21, 31-year-old Patrick Noah Torres of Pahoa was sentenced to a 10-year term by Acting Hilo Circuit Judge Harry Freitas.
On July 17, Torres entered guilty pleas to second-degree sexual assault and two counts of second-degree custodial interference. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors reduced a charge of first-degree sexual assault and dropped another, as well as dismissed charges of providing liquor to minors and seven counts of third-degree sexual assault.
The minors, a boy and girl, told police they were walking to a Puna school in a heavy downpour on Oct. 6, 2016, and stopped for shelter near a store. Torres reportedly offered them a ride to school in his truck, but instead of taking them to school, drove to several locations in Puna and South Hilo, where he sexually assaulted the girl.
The victim, who is younger than the legal age of consent, was uninjured other than the sexual assault, police said.
If convicted of first-degree sexual assault, Torres faced a possible 20-year prison term.
According to terms of the plea agreement, read aloud by Nakamoto in July, Torres “shall not seek a reduction in sentence until after serving 18 months of incarceration.”
Torres had remained free after posting $35,000 bail upon his arrest.
Both men were ordered to register as sex offenders upon their release from prison.
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