Saturday | December 16, 2017
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Man sentenced to 20 years for sex assault

The son of a homicide victim was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in jail and 20 years probation for nine counts of first-degree sexual assault.

James V. Johns Jr. of Pahoa pleaded guilty on Jan. 7 to the charges. He was indicted last April for “knowingly engaging in sexual penetration” of a young girl. The offenses, which started when the girl was 12, allegedly took place between July 19, 2006, and April 30, 2010.

The sentencing was continued from Feb. 11, when the 25-year-old Johns told Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura that he had pneumonia and was unable to think clearly.

Deputy Prosecutor Darien Nagata said the plea deal, under what the state calls “expedited sentencing,” was struck “to spare her from having to testify at trial.”

Johns briefly addressed the court before sentencing.

“I know I did wrong and everything, and there’s some parts of what I did was not wrong in everything I feel, but I’m basically here to take my punishment and get back to (being a) member of society,” he said.

The judge ordered substance abuse assessment, as well as that Johns register as a sex offender, undergo a psychosexual evaluation and enroll in a sex offender treatment program, not possess firearms or ammunition, not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers and not be around schools, playgrounds or other places minors congregate. Johns will be credited for jail time already served.

Johns could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each of the nine first-degree sex assault charges. He’s the son of homicide victim James V. Johns Sr., 54, who was slain in a tool shed on his Nanawale Estates property on Dec. 16.

A 36-year-old tenant of the elder Johns, Jason Russell Jump, is charged with murder, and a judge has ordered a mental examination for Jump. A Hilo District Court hearing in that case is Tuesday.