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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Willoughby must pay victim

By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Kim Willoughby, who lost her pro team deal, says she can’t immediately pay restitution for the beating of Sara Daniel.

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Former University of Hawai'i volleyball star Kim Willoughby said she can't immediately pay $2,000 in restitution to a woman she assaulted outside a Honolulu nightclub in 2006 because she's lost her job with a professional volleyball team in Italy.

Willoughby, 28, appeared in court yesterday for sentencing in the assault case. Circuit Court Judge Karen Ahn placed Willoughby on five years of probation and ordered her to pay $2,027 in medical bills incurred by her victim, Sara Daniel, who was beaten on Dec. 16, 2006, in the parking lot of Pipeline Cafe.

Daniel spoke to Willoughby in the hearing, saying, "I cannot put into words the pain I endured physically" because of the assault, which caused her to undergo "major reconstructive surgery" to her face.

Willoughby pleaded no contest earlier this year to a charge of second-degree assault.

She was initially involved in an altercation with a friend of Daniel's inside the nightclub, pushing Daniel to the ground when Daniel tried to intervene.

Willoughby then pursued Daniel and her friend when they ran outside, punching Daniel "several times" in the face, breaking a nasal bone and an eye socket.

Daniel said she "was a sober, designated driver" when she went to the nightspot with friends.

Willoughby yesterday apologized to Daniel.

"I do regret everything that happened to you," Willoughby said. "I really do apologize to you for that night."

The Italian Olympic Committee announced in April that Willoughby had tested positive for steroid use, a finding that Willoughby disputed outside court yesterday and said will be proved wrong.

"I'm very confident," she said. "I know I've done nothing wrong."

But her Italian professional team has used the finding to void her contract, Willoughby said.

"They don't want to pay me," she said.

She has other volleyball and basketball contract offers that she said she is "working out right now."

But in the meantime, she has no money and is tending to her father, who has been diagnosed with cancer in Louisiana, said Willoughby's lawyer, Richard Hoke.

"Right now, she's out of a job," Hoke said. "She doesn't have any income at this point."

Ahn ordered her to pay the restitution at a rate of at least $50 per month. The judge initially said she believed some jail time might be warranted in the case and also felt that Willoughby should perform 250 hours of community service — half in Hawai'i and half in Louisiana.

But Hoke pointed out that the terms of the plea agreement reached with prosecutors — and earlier approved by Ahn — did not require jail time or community service.

Prosecutor Sherri Chun told the judge that her office was not seeking jail time or community service by the defendant.

Willoughby was charged in a domestic abuse case here in 2001, eventually entering deferred guilty pleas to one count of abuse of a household member and one third-degree assault count.

Both charges are misdemeanors.

After completing court-ordered community service and writing a letter of apology to the victim in that case, the charges against her in the 2001 case were dismissed.

Willoughby was a star player for the UH Wahine volleyball team and was a member of the silver-medal-winning U.S. volleyball team at the Beijing Olympics.