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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ex-coach gets five years in sex case

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i A former Big Island tennis coach was sentenced in Kona to five years in prison yesterday for inappropriate sexual contact with an underage girl in 2002.

Dionecio Bondallian, 59, had already been sentenced in July to five years in prison in connection with another case on Maui involving the same girl. The girl, once a student of Bondallian's, was described in his indictment as being between 14 and 16 years old when the assaults occurred.

Bondallian has begun serving the Maui sentence at Halawa Correctional Facility, said his lawyer, Brian De Lima.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, De Lima said Bondallian will be allowed to serve his five-year sentences for third-degree sexual assault on the Big Island case concurrently with his Maui sentence.

Bondallian operated Bondallian Tennis Inc., and was a professional tennis instructor for 30 years.

De Lima said all of the convictions were for touching the girl through her clothes.

Bondallian also was charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault on Kaua'i involving another girl, but Kaua'i Deputy Prosecutor Simiona Ahuna said that charge was dropped Sept. 5.

Ahuna said the girl involved in that case lives on O'ahu, and was reluctant to pursue the matter. Since Bondallian had already been sentenced to a more severe penalty on Maui than he could have faced for the charge on Kaua'i, Kaua'i prosecutors decided to dismiss the misdemeanor charge, Ahuna said.

Bondallian was indicted last September on three counts of third-degree sexual assault for incidents that took place around July 28, 2002, to Aug. 13, 2002, according to the Big Island indictment.

He also was charged on Maui, and was convicted by a Maui jury in May of two counts of third-degree sexual assault. After that conviction, De Lima said, Bondallian opted to enter a no-contest plea for the three Kona charges.

"He was disappointed with the result of the Maui trial, and his plea agreement was an attempt to resolve the cases with the best possible outcome, given the circumstances," De Lima said.

Reach Kevin Dayton at kdayton@honoluluadvertiser.com.