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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:48 p.m., Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Man gets 20 years for sexual assault of 15-year-old boy

Advertiser Staff

A 29-year-old Nanakuli man was sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison today for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in August 2004.

City prosecutors asked Circuit Judge Dexter Del Rosario to sentence Michael Mars to a life term with parole based on his background.

But the judge said under state court cases, he could not consider uncharged crimes against the defendant to enhance the sentence higher than the normal 20-year maximum term for first-degree sexual assault.

City Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bell said Mars was charged in 1999 with sexually assaulting another boy, but even though he was acquitted, the prosecution believes he assaulted the youth.

Mars was diagnosed in the 1999 case as suffering from pedophilia.

Bell also said two inmates reported that Mars approached them with a murder-for-hire request to eliminate prospective witnesses in that 1999 case. Mars also wrote a letter admitting he talked to the two about the prospect of hiring them or others, Bell said.

Bell said Mars was not prosecuted because the two inmates refused to cooperate with the prosecution.

Deputy Public Defender Walter Rodby argued against enhancing the sentence.

He noted that the prosecutors did not prosecute Mars on any murder solicitation charge. Rodby also said he could not see how they could assert he sexually assaulted the boy in the 1999 case when the jury found him not guilty.

The Hawai'i Paroling Authority will later determine how much time Mars must serve before he is eligible for release on parole.

Bell said he will recommend Mars serve the full 20 years.