Kona man to serve 5 years for unlawful imprisonment of minor


  • Aquino

A 48-year-old South Kona man was sentenced Friday to up to five years behind bars after being found guilty of keeping a minor under the age of 16 chained to a floor.

Alexander Aquino was found guilty of first-degree unlawful imprisonment in May following a bench trial before Kona Circuit Court Judge Wendy DeWeese during April. The judge found Aquino not guilty of a misdemeanor charge of persistent nonsupport.


Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Chase Murray argued for the imposition of the maximum penalty of five years imprisonment for the Class C felony offense of unlawful imprisonment.

Aquino, who remained on supervised release for the majority of the criminal proceedings, was taken into custody Friday to immediately begin serving his prison term. The Hawaii Paroling Authority will set the minimum amount of time Aquino must serve before becoming eligible for parole.

“This was a case of family violence, child abuse, and neglect,” said Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen. “We pray that today’s sentencing brings some sense of justice to those involved. This type of behavior will not be tolerated nor should any child have to endure this type of abuse. Our Office will continue to work with law enforcement and our legislature to establish the creation of laws to better protect our keiki.”

The case stemmed from a chain of events that occurred between Aug. 1, 2020, and Aug. 21, 2021.

During the two-day bench trial, the victim described being confined to a lanai, only allowed into the main house when having to use the bathroom. The minor also testified to being chained, around the neck, with a 20-inch chain to the floor at night with only a towel and blanket for a bed for over a year.

Further testimony indicated sometime in 2020, while not chained up, the victim tried to escape from the lanai, which is 17 feet from the ground. The minor lost footing and fell, subsequently suffering a compression fracture to the spine. Aquino, the child’s step father and his wife, the child’s mother, failed to provide medical attention for the youth and after about a month continued the routine of the chain around the neck.

In August 2021, the youth testified to being able to scale the lanai and then hitchhiking to the Kailua-Kona Ross, where a good samaritan intervened and was able to seek help. The child has been placed in the custody of his maternal grandmother.

On April 22, Aquino’s wife Amy pleaded no contest to the charge of first-degree unlawful imprisonment. She was setenced July 8 to by DeWeese to four years probation and 48 days with credit of eight days served.

DeWeese in rendering the sentence ordered Amy Aquino to serve the jail sentence in 10-day intervals starting on the anniversary of her son running away. She is due to serve her first 10-day stint starting Aug. 21 of this year, and to return for the same period behind bars in 2023, ‘24 and ‘25.

If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Abuse and Neglect reporting line at (888) 380-6688.

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