Man accused in
slaying had prior
rape conviction

Donald Barry Marks allegedly
beheaded a Waikiki prostitute

By Nelson Daranciang and Rod Antone |

Donald Barry Marks, the man charged with murdering a Waikiki prostitute and cutting off her head and arms this weekend, had been previously convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl, court documents show.

Marks, 39, was living in a fifth-floor unit at 2509 Ala Wai Blvd., two doors down from where the body of Yoko Sanders, 38, was found Saturday morning.

Police and officials for the city Prosecutor's Office said the victim's arms had been cut off just below the elbow and that her head had been placed in a plastic bag. The medical examiner determined Sanders was strangled.

According to the affidavit of the arresting officer, Marks first drew attention to himself following the discovery of Sanders' body. Police said he walked past police officers outside his apartment unsurprised by their presence on his floor and then entered his own apartment.Then later, when investigators reviewed videotape recorded by the building's security cameras, they saw Marks and Sanders enter the building, the Pacific International Condominium, and exit the elevator on the fifth floor about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Resident manager Gasio Matuu said Marks was the last one to leave the apartment in which the body was found.

A friend told police that Sanders called her Friday afternoon and told her she had arranged a date with a man who rented Room 506 at 2509 Ala Wai Blvd. -- the same unit number as Marks' apartment.

Sanders was found in Room 504, two doors down from Marks' unit.

The security cameras also recorded Marks later carrying a trash bag down the stairs in the lobby area and placing it in a Dumpster in the garage. Police recovered the trash bag and found Sanders' handbag inside.

When police arrested Marks, he told the officers, "You made a mistake," according to the affidavit.

Marks' first violent-crime conviction as an adult came after he was arrested Aug. 26, 1991, when a 13-year-old girl reported to police that he raped her. The girl lived in the same Aiea apartment building and had baby-sat Marks' infant son, court documents show.

Marks was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, kidnapping and one count of third-degree sexual assault in the case. At the time, he was on probation for a 1988 conviction for fraudulent use of credit cards and theft.

However, a state judge dismissed the sexual assault and kidnapping charges in January 1994 because the state took too long to bring the case to trial.

After Marks' parents posted his $40,000 bail in the rape case, federal authorities took him into custody in March 1992 for trial in California for a separate case.

A Hawaii judge then ruled that the state could not proceed with the rape trial against Marks because no effort was made to return Marks to Hawaii during the seven months he was in federal custody in California.

The state reinstated the charges and in June 1994, Marks pleaded guilty to one second-degree sexual assault charge in return for having the other charges dismissed. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with credit for time already served.

Marks was released on parole in September 1998, but was taken back into custody for violating terms of his parole in January the following year. He completed his prison sentence and was released from Halawa Correctional Facility on May 15 this year.

Marks is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Sanders was also known to police as a longtime street walker who had worked in the Waikiki area for more than a decade. According to court documents, Sanders was convicted of prostitution four times in the 1990s.

Police said the unit in which Sanders was found was likely a "trick pad," or somewhere she brought customers even though she did not actually live there.

Police said Sanders' boyfriend found her early Saturday morning when he went to look for her after she failed to return to her Moiliili residence.

Kay Hartman, a peer counselor for Sisters Offering Support, a nonprofit group aimed at getting women out of the sex industry, said the murder is a gruesome example of the violence of prostitution. Hartman said she worked in the local sex industry for three years before getting out five years ago.

"I've been tortured, beaten and raped. ... That could have been me," Hartman said. "And I'm afraid because I have friends who are still out there."

"But if I can get out and make it, everyone else can too."

Those wanting to reach SOS can call the organization's direct line at 941-5554. An SOS crisis hotline is also available by calling 220-1501.

E-mail to City Desk


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