Couple face sentencing over abuse
A Waianae man and his wife assaulted five kids in their care for more than a year
A Waianae couple pleaded guilty and no contest in Circuit Court yesterday to charges that they assaulted and abused five children in their care for more than a year between 2004 and 2005.
Gabriel and Barbara Kalama plead not contest to disturbingly abusing 5 children, children that they were related to.
Gabriel Kalama pleaded no contest to two counts of second-degree assault and five counts of abuse of a family or household member. He is accused of going after two of the children with a baseball bat.
His wife, Barbara Kalama, pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree and six counts of abuse of a family or household member.
The children, all siblings, were between 7 and 14 years old at the time of the alleged abuse. Their mother and Barbara Kalama are first cousins, said Lori Wada, deputy prosecutor.
Life in the Kalama household for the children "was torture," she said. "Atrocities that were done to them, no child should ever, ever have to endure."
A third defendant, Rita Makekau, Barbara Kalama's mother, is charged with eight counts of second-degree assault and one count of abuse of a family or household member. She is accused of assaulting the children with hammers, knives, a metal spoon and a can of dog food. Her trial is scheduled for next month.
Wada said the Kalamas were able to abuse the children for so long because they never took them to a doctor. The state removed the children from the home in February 2005.
The Kalamas face sentencing in front of Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall in November.
Second-degree assault and first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor are Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. Abuse of a family or household member is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
Wada said the children are now in good foster care and doing better.