Waialae sex offender gets 10-year prison sentence
A 30-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for seeking out a 14-year-old Waialae boy on myspace.com and later meeting him for a sexual relationship.
Joseph Colasacco blamed his conduct in part on Hawaii's "larger immoral" and multicultural environment that's so accepting of alternative lifestyles.
Calling Colasacco's denial "frightening," Deputy Prosecutor Jean Ireton said: "The state isn't the problem, the problem is (the) defendant."
Colasacco, also of Waialae, pleaded guilty in June to three counts of electronic enticement of a child in the first-degree, five counts of first-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree sexual assault and four counts of promoting pornography to minors.
Yesterday, Circuit Judge Michael Wilson noted Colasacco's service in the Navy, the absence of a prior criminal history and expressions of empathy for the victim and what he suffered.
But Wilson said the facts of the case, the seriousness of the offenses and the "profound" injury he caused the eighth-grader require that Colasacco receive the maximum term.
Colasacco enticed the victim over a two-week period and the graphic nature of the e-mails to the victim reflected "obsessive behavior" intended to culminate in sexual conduct, Wilson said.
Colasacco's behavior included observing the victim at canoe club practice and the victim's home.
"The behavior resulted in Mr. Colasacco inviting the victim to Colasacco's home, where the victim was subjected to sexual penetration in a manner that made him cry," Wilson said.
Colasacco also visited the victim's home to supply him with materials on male sex acts with the intent of having sex with the victim while the parents were at home, Wilson said.
The victim's stepfather, who called police Feb. 12 after discovering Colasacco in his stepson's bed pretending to be asleep, asked the court for the maximum punishment, saying not only was his stepson violated, but his family as well.
Defense attorney Frank Fernandez read e-mail excerpts of the conversations between the boy and Colasacco, saying they indicate the boy had relationships with older men before and that even his doctor was concerned about his exposure in recent years to risky behavior.
Yesterday, Colasacco apologized to the court and to the boy's family, saying, "I screwed up."
He said he assumed the boy was of legal age, although that didn't make it right. He promised the court he would never participate in a chat room again and asked that he be given a chance to prove to the community that he's not the monster he's been made out to be.
Ireton argued against probation and requested the maximum 10 years, saying Colasacco "waged a campaign of control" over the boy and undermined his parents by buying him a cell phone so that he could reach him.
Colasacco also denied knowing the boy's actual age but e-mails between the two indicated he did know and that it didn't matter how old the boy was, she said.
"Even if the victim is 14 or 16, the fact is this kid was almost half his age," Ireton said.
She said Colasacco needs sex offender treatment and that the only way to protect the community from him is to incarcerate him. The seven months that he's spent in jail awaiting trial and sentencing is not sufficient to rid his attraction to having sex with kids despite his statements to a probation officer that he can now resist those unhealthy and unnatural thoughts, Ireton said.
The boy continues to suffer because of Colasacco's actions, she said. "This young boy is not coping, he's hurting himself and worrying his parents and school."
In a letter to the court, the boy's teacher said she had never seen such a drastic change in a person as she saw in the victim after he had been assaulted, Wilson said. "The victim's spirit died, he no longer has the drive, motivation and spirit to achieve in school," he quoted the teacher as saying.