Man gets 20 years for sex assault
A Nanakuli man convicted of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2004 was sentenced yesterday to 20 years' imprisonment, six years after he was acquitted in a similar assault on another boy.
In sentencing Michael Mars, Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario rejected the state's request to extend Mars' term to life imprisonment.
Mars, 28, was convicted in January of three counts of first-degree sexual assault, on one of two brothers who claimed he had assaulted them repeatedly during five months in 2004.
The boys and their mother had been staying at Mars' mother's apartment because they had been evicted from their previous home. The state contended that Mars ensured their silence by threatening to kill them or kick them out.
At trial, Mars denied the allegations. But during an interview with a probation officer preparing his pre-sentence report, Mars confessed he engaged in "sexually inappropriate acts" with the victim in this case, said Deputy Public Defender Walter Rodby.
Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell asked for extended and consecutive terms, noting that the court should have considered Mars' entire history in sentencing him.
The state pointed to letters written by two former inmates who were incarcerated with Mars when he was awaiting trial in a 1999 sexual assault case.
The inmates reported to prosecutors that Mars approached them in a "murder for hire" asking for help in eliminating witnesses who would testify against him in the 1999 case.
After Mars learned he was under investigation for a "murder for hire," he wrote a letter to the then-administrative judge confessing he did solicit the two inmates to help him find someone to kill four witnesses, but was sorry he did.
He indicated it had been a mistake and that he did not follow through with it.
"I did not want the boy hurt," he wrote in his letter. "Those people have stated they wanted my mother, as well as my sister and her daghter (sic) Dead and that's why I did that. I'm very sorry," he wrote. "We have called ours off! Have they called theres (sic)??"
Prosecutors should have charged Mars with the murder-for-hire if they felt the evidence was strong enough, Rodby said.
Bell said they were not asking the court to punish Mars for charges he was not convicted of, but that the court has discretion to consider the allegations.
"If you look at Mr. Mars' entire life history, including a diagnosed and documented history of pedophilia and attraction to young boys and other inappropriate sexual behavior coupled with these other acts, the prosecution's view is it clearly demonstrates a propensity to engage in criminal behavior that endangers the public," he said.
Bell said he will ask the Paroling Authority to order Mars to serve the entire 20 years.