Changing Hawaii

By Diane Yukihiro Chang

Monday, October 13, 1997


Time for a criminal
to face the music

DURING a five-week period from July 15-Aug. 21, 1996, Orrel K. Lui went on a crime spree on Oahu to support his addiction to crystal methamphetamine. During this rampage, he committed burglary, kidnapping and rape. He preyed especially on women who were vulnerable due to their age or other circumstances, and who were easily overcome by his physical strength and violence.

On Wednesday, Lui will face the consequences. He will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Dexter Dean Del Rosario at 10:30 a.m. after pleading no contest on Aug. 4 to all the charges against him.

Honolulu Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Lori H. Wada will be asking the court to keep defendant Lui behind bars for the rest of his life. And one of his victims, "Lani" (not her real name), will be in the audience with her mother, stepdad and brother to make sure that justice is done.

"I want him to be put away so he doesn't hurt anyone ever again," she says (see Changing Hawaii, Aug. 8, "Rape victim relives trauma of her assault" and Aug. 11, "How 'system' revictimized raped woman").

Just last week, Lani learned that what Lui did to her was not unique, according to police reports filed by other female victims in the case. "I didn't realize that he had done these things to others," Lani said.

Statement from Victim A: "I saw him standing near the street. I turned back and closed the door. He opened the door by force. I told him to leave, but he threw me down and took a knife. We struggled on the floor, and I cried for my son, who appeared and hit him."

Statement from Victim B: "He grabbed me (in a) choke hold across my neck and (put his) hand over my mouth. I was screaming like a banshee while being pushed inside. He threw me face down just inside the door and kept saying, 'Be quiet, I'm not going to hurt you. Turn over.'

"I knew he was strong, (but I tried) to keep screaming, 'Help! Help! Help!' He was saying to turn over but I'm not stupid. I was terrified of this person (raping me).

"The left side of my face and neck are bruised and my cheekbone will be blue tomorrow as he slammed me down on the floor."

Lani paled on reading these reports. They reminded her of what happened on Aug. 11, when Lui appeared at the front entrance of her secluded Tantalus home.

He yanked open the screen door and started walking toward 45-year-old Lani. When he said, "I won't hurt you," Lani said to herself, 'Oh, my God. He's going to hurt me.'"

She was right. Lui raped her and then ransacked her house. That probably would have been the fates of Victims A and B, if their loved ones hadn't come to their assistance and chased Lui away.

THERE are ironies about this case, but nobody is laughing. Since Lui is a former adult corrections officer at Halawa Correctional Facility, now he'll be on the other side of the bars when he goes to prison.

Judge Del Rosario is a former public defender, just like the one who defended Lui, so his sentence will be scrutinized to see if it befits the seriousness of the crimes.

And then there's Lani, who is repulsed by the idea of once again seeing the man who raped and terrorized her just over a year ago. Yet something compels her to be at Lui's sentencing hearing on Wednesday. She wants to bring closure to part of a life, her life, which will never be the same because of him.






Diane Yukihiro Chang's column runs Monday and Friday.
She can be reached by phone at 525-8607, via e-mail at
DianeChang@aol.com, or by fax at 523-7863.




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