Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 |
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KEALAKEKUA A Kailua-Kona man will serve one year in jail for sexually assaulting three juvenile girls.
KEALAKEKUA — A Kailua-Kona man will serve one year in jail for sexually assaulting three juvenile girls.
On Thursday, Christopher Lickiss appeared in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Melvin Fujino and pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree sexual assault. He was sentenced to one year in jail and five years probation.
Deputy Prosecutor Chase Murray said he was surprised by the sentence.
“I was expecting prison,” Murray said. “It is what it is — the judge makes the call.”
Lickiss was first indicted on felony sex assault charges in September when he was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with three juveniles over two different periods in 2014-15 and 2016-17. He pleaded guilty in January per plea agreement to three counts of third-degree sexual assault. He is also required to register as a sex offender.
The parents of two of the victims appeared in court to make statements prior to sentencing. The first mother told the court she knows what happened to her daughter has affected her.
“She bawled when she had to have a regular (physical) exam because she’s now uncomfortable with her body,” the mother told the court. The mother added the abuse hit close to home as Lickiss and his family are longtime friends and his actions have changed all of their relationships.
Another mother of one of the victims stood and told the court how Lickiss lied and deceived them.
“He ruined so many of our lives for what he did,” she said. “I hope he gets the help he needs because what he’s done is disgusting.”
Murray had requested a sentence of five years consecutive for each of the class C felonies. He told the court Lickiss’ actions didn’t occur because of his drinking or a failed marriage.
But instead of dwelling on the defendant, the prosecutor wanted to talk about the three young women “who are survivors of his abuse.”
One was a runaway. Murray explained how Lickiss preyed upon her because of her troubled background.
The second victim, Murray said, suffers compounded trauma because her best friend was also abused. They went through it together. The anger and shame is something she’ll endure the rest of her life.
The youngest of the victims, the prosecutor told the court, is still haunted by the trauma.
“The defendant’s abuse drove a wedge in her family,” he said.
In the pre-sentence to report, there were several letters in support of Lickiss.
“Sometimes it seems it would be easier to disbelieve the survivors than be forced to believe that these kinds of things can happen to our children in our community,” Murray said.
Lickiss did take the opportunity to speak in court. He said he lives with his actions every day.
“My own family suffers every day,” he said. “I hate myself for what I did.”
Lickiss added he has been getting help and he’s trying to do the right thing.
“The only thing I can do is make it right where I can make it right,” he said.
Fujino told Lickiss he broke trust.
“You broke the (ultimate) trust with friends who trusted you with their children,” he said. “The sad thing is the kids think there is something wrong with them.”
To his benefit, Fujino remarked to Lickiss on the many letters written on his behalf.
After issuing judgment, Fujino told Lickiss he is also required to write letters of apology to the victims.
“Emphasize this was not their fault,” the judge told Lickiss. “This should’ve never happened to them.”
With that, Fujino also told the Kailua-Kona man to always remember what he did.
“I’m not sending you to prison because you’ve taken steps to address this case,” Fujino said. “Get the help you need so you can be the best person you can be.”
As Lickiss was being led out of the courtroom, he looked back at the two mothers and said, “I’m sorry.”
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