Puna man sentenced to 10 years for assault on teenage girlfriend

  • SOARES

A Puna man, 26 year-old Douglas Wayne Soares Jr., was sentenced Monday to a 10-year prison term in connection with a Feb. 28, 2021, domestic abuse incident involving Soares’ teenage girlfriend.

Soares pleaded guilty on March 14 to first-degree assault and three counts of domestic abuse aggravated by strangulation.

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The most serious offense, first-degree assault, is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, upon conviction.

In exchange for Soares’ guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped a charge of kidnapping, a Class A felony that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, unlawful imprisonment, attempted second-degree assault and misdemeanor domestic abuse.

“There is no sentence that can erase what happened; however, I hope it brings forth some sort of healing for the victim and her family,” said County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen said in a statement.

Waltjen advises victims of domestic violence go to a safe place and call a trusted friend or relative for support. Victims can call 911 to report the abuse to the police.

The Child and Family Service 24-Hour Abuse Hotline, seven days a week, at (808) 959-8864 in East Hawaii and (808) 322-7233 in West Hawaii.

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