WAILUKU - Saying a teenage girl "did the right thing" by reporting she had been sexually touched by a relative, a judge placed the man on one year's probation after he had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge.
Dennis Gumboc, 47, of Kihei was ordered to participate in sex offender treatment and to comply with sex offender registration requirements as part of his sentencing Dec. 17.
He had pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of fourth-degree sexual assault of the teenage girl from October to December 2011.
Defense attorney Cary Virtue said Gumboc already was participating in sex offender counseling.
"He recognizes the seriousness of his behavior and potential harm" to the girl, Virtue said.
While it was unusual to have a sexual assault charge reduced to a misdemeanor, Deputy Prosecutor Kim Whitworth said it was warranted in Gumboc's case. She said Gumboc took steps to get help immediately.
In a letter to the court, the girl supported the plea agreement.
"She is one of the most remarkable individuals I have met," Whitworth said. "She's very bright. She came forward not to harm anyone but to self-heal. Now it's time to be a teenager."
In sentencing Gumboc, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza followed the plea agreement between the defense and prosecution.
He said the girl "did the right thing in terms of her reporting this."
"That showed a lot of courage," Cardoza said.
He said Gumboc also had taken appropriate steps to address what happened.
"Every challenge in life presents an opportunity," the judge told Gumboc. "Fortunately, the opportunity you have been given is to rehabilitate yourself, restore your positive relationships with those you love."
Gumboc was ordered to have no contact with the victim or an other minors unless he has written permission from his probation officer.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.