Ka‘u man sentenced to prison for sex assault

  • Ryan Queja

A 36-year-old Ka‘u man indicted by a Kona grand jury for a 2017 sexual assault of a minor while serving an intermittent prison sentence for similar charges back to 2011 was sentenced Monday in Kona Circuit Court.

Ryan Queja was indicted in August on two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a minor who was at least 14 years old but less than 16 at the time of the assault.

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He was also charged with witness tampering for “intentionally engaging in conduct to induce a witness or a person he believed was about to be called as a witness to testify falsely or withhold any testimony,” according to the indictment.

In December, Queja changed his plea to guilty of one count of first-degree sexual assault on a minor. The other two charges were dropped in the plea agreement.

In February 2011, he pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, three counts of third-degree sexual assault and third-degree attempted sexual assault. He was sentenced to 24 months incarceration to be served intermittently with a minimum of three months each year and 900 hours of community service.

Queja, a registered sex offender, was still serving his intermittent sentence for the 2011 sexual assault when he re-offended in 2017. He was released on probation for the earlier assault in December 2018.

His probation was revoked on that case in December and re-sentencing was also set for Monday.

Kona Circuit Court Judge Robert D.S. Kim re-sentenced Queja to five years for three counts of third-degree sexual assault and third-degree attempted sexual assault, 10 years for second-degree sexual assault and 20 years incarceration for first-degree sexual assault stemming from the 2011 conviction.

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For his guilty plea in the 2017 case Kim sentenced him to 20 years with a mandatory minimum sentence of six years, eight months.

Sentences in both cases will run concurrently, or at the same time.

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