City employee gets 20-year term for sex assault
A 45-year-old city employee was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a juvenile family member.
But Circuit Judge Richard Perkins allowed Robert Mitchell to remain on supervised release pending appeal of the conviction last fall on one count of first-degree sexual assault.
Perkins found that Mitchell, a Honolulu Board of Water Supply employee who has no criminal history and has complied with conditions of supervised release over the last five years, is not a flight risk or a danger to the community.
The victim alleged that Mitchell sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions in 2001.
Mitchell denied the charge, and the defense argued there was no medical evidence to support the allegations.
Circuit Judge Michael Wilson convicted Mitchell in October of one of three counts of first-degree sexual assault, but sentencing was delayed while the defense sought to have him remain free pending his appeal.
On Wednesday, members of Mitchell's church and co-workers from the Board of Water Supply where he has worked for the past 14 years packed the courtroom to support him and submitted numerous letters attesting to his character, said defense attorney Brook Hart.
Mitchell did not address the court or make a statement. He had asked the court to delay compliance with DNA requirements pending the outcome of his appeal but was denied. The law requires that all sex offenders provide a DNA sample upon conviction.
Su Shin, spokeswoman for the Board of Water Supply, said the agency is aware of Mitchell's conviction and that he remains at the job.
While his conviction had nothing to do with his work as water service investigator, the department nevertheless took steps to ensure the safety of the public and its employees, Shin said, declining further explanation because of confidentiality rules.