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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 13, 2009

Dad gets life term for infant's rape

Photo gallery: Danny Friddle Sentencing

By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Danny Friddle, who was sentenced yesterday, was arrested last year after a videotape showing him abusing his newborn daughter was turned in to police. The tape was in a backpack found at a bus stop.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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An O'ahu man who admitted in court last year that he repeatedly raped his infant child and videotaped the incidents was sentenced yesterday to life in prison with the possibility of parole a sentence normally reserved for convicted killers.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Danny Friddle will not ask for parole until he has served at least 15 years in prison and prosecutors will not ask the Hawai'i Paroling Authority to set a minimum term for Friddle of more than 20 years.

First Deputy City Prosecutor Douglas Chin said he believes the life term is the harshest sentence ever handed down in a sexual assault case in Hawai'i.

State law normally calls for no more than 20 years in prison for someone convicted of first-degree sexual assault.

Friddle pleaded guilty Dec. 8 in Circuit Court to eight counts of first-degree sexual assault, three counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of first-degree promotion of child abuse.

In handing down the sentence of life with the possibility of parole for Friddle, Circuit Judge David Broder granted a request by Chin for an extended prison term for what Chin had described as the "shocking, despicable and abominable" crimes Friddle committed against the infant. By agreeing to the plea deal, Friddle avoided the possibility of being sentenced to eight consecutive 20-year prison terms, Chin said.

Friddle's lawyer, Jason Burks, said after the court hearing that his client pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him "because it was the right thing to do" and felt the agreement was "a fair result for him."

He said Friddle himself was a sex assault victim both as a child and young adult.

"Many times, sexual assault perpetrators have been sexual assault victims in the past," Burks said.

He said he was making that observation on behalf of Friddle, although Friddle has never used the sexual assaults against him as an excuse for what he did to his own child.

"Danny is at a loss as to why it happened and how he ended up here," Burks said. "He doesn't know why it happened and he doesn't have any excuses for what he did."

Friddle was arrested by Ho- nolulu police in March 2008 after a backpack containing a videotape of the assaults was discovered at a Kalihi bus stop.

Chin said that a child found the backpack and gave it to a parent, who turned it over to police after viewing the video.

He said previously that Friddle's crimes might have gone undetected if the backpack had not been found at the bus stop.

To this day, it is not known who put the tape at the bus stop, Chin said.

Court records show that the assaults began in June 2006 on the day Friddle's daughter was born. According to the indictment, one series of assaults on the videotape occurred from June through September 2006 and the other from October 2006 to March 2008.

Friddle came to Hawai'i with the Army in 2003 and was married here in December 2005. He was divorced in September 2007.

After leaving the military, Friddle worked as a car salesman and as a security guard, according to court records.

Friddle's identity card with a local security guard company was found in the backpack. His ex-wife identified him as the man on the videotape, according to police reports.

Reach David Waite at dwaite@honoluluadvertiser.com.