GI admits guilt in UH dormitory sex assault
A Schofield Barracks soldier accused of breaking into several University of Hawaii-Manoa dormitory rooms and stealing women's underwear, among other things, pleaded guilty yesterday to unauthorized entry into a dwelling, third-degree sexual assault and three counts of first-degree burglary.
Army Spc. Mark Heath, 20, faces imprisonment of 10 years on each of the burglary counts and five years for each of the other charges when he is sentenced July 9.
Deputy Prosecutor Thalia Murphy said she will ask Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario to sentence Heath to the maximum prison terms for all five charges and have them run back to back for a 40-year sentence.
"Because of the blatantness, because of the stealth and the planning, because of the harm," she explained. "These girls had a right to feel safe in their own dorm rooms."
Murphy said one of the female victims is from the mainland and was attending her first semester at UH. She completed the fall semester but transferred to a school on the mainland the following semester.
Heath pleaded guilty to an Aug. 19 incident in which he is accused of trying to cut off the panties of a female student at Hale Mokihana dormitory. The student awoke in the middle of the night to find Heath holding a pair of scissors near her face. He is accused of putting his hand on her genitalia for several seconds before the victim screamed.
He also pleaded guilty to taking items from other dormitories, and when he was caught in one of them on Nov. 25, he had a stolen iPod and women's underwear in his pockets.
Heath told police he entered the dormitories through unlocked fire escape doors and entered the rooms through unlocked doors.
He is married and has two children.
He was about to deploy with fellow members of Schofield's 2nd Brigade Combat Team when he was arrested.
His arrest and two incidents involving other students a few days later raised security concerns on the Manoa campus.