Big Isle man guilty in captivity of girlfriend
A plea deal reduces the charges from attempted murder
HILO » Big Island resident Ernest Horcajo III, 25, pleaded guilty this week to seven charges of assault and sexual assault in connection with holding his girlfriend captive for two months in 2004 while beating and raping her repeatedly.
Horcajo pleaded no contest to another charge of kidnapping. He did not agree to a guilty plea in that charge because he believed he had grounds to fight it, said his attorney William Heflin.
On Dec. 1, 2004, the victim, who had been living in a tent with Horcajo in Ainaloa subdivision south of Hilo, was finally persuaded to leave by a female friend who owned the property and took the victim to police.
Police reports said Horcajo threatened to kill the victim if she tried to leave him.
He beat her with a pipe and a golf club, causing broken ribs, jaw and nose, and a ruptured spleen and kidney, the police report said.
The internal injuries were a factor in the county prosecutor getting an indictment for attempted murder. Horcajo refused to get medical treatment for the victim or allow her to go for treatment. The attempted-murder charges were dropped in the plea agreement.
Horcajo faces a maximum of 30 years in prison when Judge Glenn Hara sentences him on March 15.
He could have received life with the possibility of parole, but Hara agreed to the 30-year maximum. The minimum he will serve is six years, eight months.