Sex offender freed, faces deportation
John Endo's backers were undeterred by his 1984 conviction
A popular Ala Moana barber who was convicted of child molestation more than two decades ago is expected to be back cutting hair today after a judge agreed to release him while he awaits trial over an immigration offense.
John Ayato Endo, 61, was set free Monday after an immigration judge last week indicated he would be more inclined to release him to the custody of his longtime employer if his movements could be tracked by a global positioning satellite system, or GPS.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi amended the terms of Endo's release yesterday to include GPS.
"I think he's happy to be out and had a lot of support," said Gary Singh, Endo's immigration attorney. More than 40 individuals had submitted letters of support for Endo to the court.
Endo, a Japanese citizen and a lawful U.S. permanent resident alien since October 1971, has been cutting hair at Thom's Barber Shop for the last three decades. He spent 55 days in federal custody after he was picked up July 18 after being indicted for claiming on sex offender records that he was a U.S. citizen.
Endo has a 20-year-old sex abuse conviction for molesting a 6-year-old girl and faced deportation but somehow remained off the radar of immigration officials.
He told officials later that he lied "out of fear of being deported after all these years."
Endo has remained conviction free since his 1984 conviction and has worked for the same employer for more than 30 years, building a clientele base at the Ala Moana Center barbershop frequented by doctors, attorneys, judges and other professionals.
His employer was aware of his molestation conviction but continued to employ him because it did not affect his performance at work. He is considered a model employee who rarely called in sick.
On July 27, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren ruled that Endo was not a flight risk and released him to the custody of Beatrice Nakamura, whose son Dwight Nakamura operates Thom's Barbershop.
However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services immediately took him into custody. He faces a maximum of three years' imprisonment if convicted of the immigration offense and still faces deportation. Trial is now set for Nov. 27.
Singh noted yesterday he is expected to file a request in state court to have Endo's sex-abuse conviction set aside.