By William Cole
Advertiser Courts Writer
The man dubbed the "Mililani rapist" was sentenced to nine concurrent life terms yesterday for sexual assaults on four teenage girls in 1997. The sentencing helped to resolve the frustration of victims and families who saw James Allen Thompsons first two trials end in mistrial.
Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario handed down the sentence following tearful and wrenching statements by victims, but did not impose the three consecutive life terms sought by city De-puty Prosecutor Rom Trader.
|James Allen Thompson offered no comment at his hearing yesterday.
Advertiser library photo 1997
In October, a jury convicted the 39-year-old former prison guard of 20 counts, including first-degree sexual assault, first-degree attempted sexual assault and kidnapping.
A police captain in Contra Costa, Calif., whose 14-year-old daughter was the first of the teens to be attacked, said he was later advised to remove all firearms from his house after his daughter went to live with him because counselors feared she was suicidal.
"In 1997, Jan. 2, you stalked out a little young lady you saw walking down the street that was my little girl," the father said yesterday, looking at Thompson. "You put a knife to her back ... you took her to an isolated place and did things that dont need to be mentioned in this courtroom."
The man recalled his daughter saying the next day, "I really thought he would kill me."
A girl attacked by Thompson when she, too, was 14, told Del Rosario: "Judge, I beg you, dont let the animal out of his cage."
Del Rosario said the offenses met the guidelines for extending Thompsons prison sentence from 20 years to life on the most serious counts, but made the terms concurrent, noting the paroling authority can require minimum terms that keep Thompson in prison for the rest of his life.
Deputy Public Defender Todd Eddins had asked that Thompson be sentenced to 20 years. That much prison time represents a "huge chunk of his life," Eddins told Del Rosario. "Essentially, its a generation," he said.
Thompson, who in the past maintained he was innocent of the crimes and said he was at work, at his parents house in Mililani or with friends when the attacks took place, declined to speak at sentencing.
He sat unmoving and staring straight ahead. Eddins previously said the conviction would be appealed.
Through three trials, prosecutors portrayed Thompson as a predator who stalked girls walking alone in Mililani. His "signature" was threatening the teens with a knife, using his car to kidnap them, and forcing them to perform sex acts. One girl who managed to flee remembered the license plate number.
Thompsons previous two trials ended in mistrials, first in 1998 when a judge ruled that a prosecution question misled the jury, and again in 1999 when a jury couldnt reach unanimous verdicts.
"You cant imagine unless you are one of those girls or one of their parents ... the pain we have," another girls father told Del Rosario.
His daughter, a Mililani High School student who was attacked Sept. 27, 1997, still has a hard time staying home by herself, he said.
"Sometimes we get a phone call from her Dad, I heard a noise outside, and shes crying," the man said, his voice shaking. "So whatever were doing, we need to rush home to be by her side.
"Time heals wounds, time heals feelings, time heals cuts," the man said. "But the scars placed on the family that wont ever go away."
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