Child abuser ordered to jail as judge blames prosecutor


POSTED: Thursday, January 22, 2009

A state judge reversed herself yesterday and ordered a convicted child abuser to begin serving her five-year prison term while the case is on appeal.

  ;  But before state Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall ordered Rita Makekau into custody, she chastised Prosecutor Peter Carlisle for the way his office handled the case.

Crandall said the prosecution did not object to her granting Makekau bail pending appeal during plea negotiations, when Makekau pleaded no contest, when she was sentenced and when she asked for bail. Instead, Crandall said, the prosecution consistently left the issue of bail up to the court.

It was only after Crandall said Makekau can remain free on $41,000 bond last month that Carlisle objected and asked the court to reconsider.

“;The state's recent change in position and raising of new issues that could have been raised earlier has been very disrespectful of this court and the judicial process,”; Crandall said.

Carlisle said he believes his office did exactly what it was supposed to do.

“;The key here is a wrong has been righted. And this lady is in jail where she belongs,”; he said.

Makekau, 52, pleaded no contest to abuse of a household or family member and eight counts of second-degree assault in a plea deal with the state. The charges involve three nephews and two nieces.

The state says Makekau hit the children, who were 7 to 14 years old at the time, on their heads with knives and cans of dog food, on their fingers with metal and wooden spoons and in their mouths with a hammer. The children also said Makekau hammered them in their teeth, using a wooden spoon like a chisel.

She is appealing her conviction because she says is a member of a sovereign government not subject to state laws. Makekau claims she is the foreign minister of the Hawaiian Kingdom Government and calls herself Her Highness Kulamika Makekau, heir to the kingdom.

A spokesman said Makekau does not believe she did anything wrong, but pleaded no contest because the state threatened her with a longer prison term if she did not accept a five-year sentence.