WAILUKU - Calling a Wailuku man a "monster" who showed no remorse for repeated sexual assaults on a child, a judge Friday sentenced the man to consecutive prison terms totaling 100 years.
"You are the nightmare that came true," 2nd Circuit Judge Rhonda Loo told William Barrios, 46. "I can think of no crime as horrible as the one that you imposed on this family other than murder."
Apart from sentences of life in prison ordered for murder convictions, Barrios' sentence was one of the longest imposed by a 2nd Circuit judge, court observers said.
William Barrios, 46, convicted of 146 sex and kidnapping charges, shows no emotion as his 16-year-old victim addresses him in court Friday morning. Barrios was sentenced to 100 years in prison.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
In a trial that ended in November, a 2nd Circuit Court jury found Barrios guilty of 72 counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of kidnapping and 72 counts of third-degree sexual assault. The crimes occurred from 2004 to 2009, beginning when the girl was 8 years old.
During the trial, the girl testified that Barrios forced her into various sexual acts, a few times with her mother also forced to participate, in a bedroom of their Pukalani home. The girl also described an overnight camping trip to Olowalu when Barrios forced her into sexual acts while no other adults were present.
The girl's younger brother also testified that Barrios forced him into sexual acts, starting when he was 8.
Although the jury found Barrios not guilty of charges involving the boy, "both you and I know the truth," the boy wrote in a letter addressing Barrios that was read in court Friday.
"Because of you, I have to go to therapy," the letter said. "Because of you, I have anger problems."
The letter also said that the boy carried the burden of wondering if "I could have tried harder, I could have fought harder."
The girl testified that she at first didn't tell anyone about the assaults because Barrios threatened to kill anyone she told.
"As a child, I was scared to tell anyone about what would happen in my home," she said in court Friday. "My definition of monster is different from most people.
"When the monster was finally out of my life, I could breathe."
Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth said that rather than a victim, the girl is "a remarkable survivor who emerged from a hellish childhood to become an incredibly accomplished young woman."
Barrios declined to speak in court.
Defense attorney Jon Apo said that he advised Barrios not to submit a letter to the court because he planned an appeal.
Apo asked the judge to sentence Barrios to a 20-year prison term, which would have been the penalty if Barrios had been convicted of continuous sexual assault of a minor under age 14. Apo said legislators created the charge for cases involving allegations of three or more sexual acts against a child, but the prosecution instead decided "to shotgun 200 charges against Mr. Barrios."
"The fact that the state irrationally decided to file some 200 charges has dictated these rather irrational proceedings," Apo said.
He said Barrios was a hardworking, disciplined Christian who "continues to pray for the victim."
"Nowhere in our American justice system have we embraced the concept of an eye for an eye," Apo said. "Effectively imposing what amounts to a life sentence, while emotionally justifiable, is not a just sentence. This is not about hanging Mr. Barrios out in the public square for the rest of his life for all to see so that others can learn from this lesson."
Apo cited other 2nd Circuit cases in which defendants were sentenced to prison terms of 20 years or less for child sexual assaults.
But Whitworth said that the number of Barrios' sexual assault convictions was likely "unsurpassed" in the county and possibly the state.
"There is no comparable case in this jurisdiction," she said.
She called Barrios "one of the most diabolical child molesters who has ever set foot on this island."
Barrios "isolated and groomed a young child and subjected her to countless" sexual acts, Whitworth said. She said Barrios used "physical violence, psychological manipulation and threats."
"He robbed her of her childhood and damaged the sanctity of the mother-daughter relationship," Whitworth said.
She said Barrios' criminal history, dating to 1985, includes a September 1995 conviction for indecent exposure, a felony sexual offense in California. Although he was required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Barrios failed to do so when he moved to Hawaii, Whitworth said.
"He kept his dangerous history a secret in order to continue his sexual perversions," she said.
It was only after Barrios had been arrested and jailed for ramming a car driven by the girl's grandmother that the family felt safe enough to get help, Whitworth said.
Police began an investigation in March 2010 when the children's mother reported the sexual assaults.
Whitworth asked that Barrios be sentenced to consecutive prison terms totaling 80 years for his 146 felony convictions.
"You put a child through the most unspeakable, unthinkable things," Loo told Barrios.
"Yes, you will be characterized as a child molester, a sexual predator, because that's exactly what you are. You are a monster."
The judge said the sexual assaults involving both the girl and her mother were "one of the most deplorable things I have ever heard."
"You showed no remorse then," Loo told Barrios. "You have shown no remorse now. Your behavior is that of a twisted, sick person. The trauma that you have inflicted will have long-lasting effects."
Loo said she was proud to hear that the family was moving on after what happened.
"These are wonderful children, and they will grow up to be wonderful adults," Loo said. "It is the hope of this court that, for the safety of all children, that you should never see the outside of a prison's walls."
While ordering that Barrios serve some of the prison terms at the same time, Loo ordered consecutive sentencing for four 20-year prison terms, one 10-year prison term and two five-year prison terms.
After the sentencing, the girl said she was thankful that the judge ordered the prison terms totaling 100 years.
"I was kind of shocked at first," the girl said. "But I was really relieved that it was for so long."
"I'm grateful that the court decided and agreed with us that he is truly a monster," the grandmother said. "I'm so happy that nobody else's children or grandchildren will ever have to go through what we went through."
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.