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Convicted child abuser ordered to prison


January 21, 2009

Jim Dooley

Honolulu Advertiser

Circuit Judge Virginia Crandall this afternoon reversed an earlier decision and ordered convicted child abuser Rita Makekau to immediately begin serving a five-year prison sentence.


Crandall granted a motion from Prosecutor Peter Carlisle to reconsider her earlier ruling that allowed Makekau to remain free on bail while appealing the case on grounds of Native Hawaiian sovereign immunity.

Crandall said Carlisle's office failed to raise objections to the bail issue in a timely manner before sentencing and showed "disrespect" to her and to the state Judiciary.

But she said the reconsideration motion that Carlisle's office filed contained convincing arguments that Makekau would be unlikely to prevail in her appeal and should begin serving her prison sentence immediately.

A state deputy sheriff took Makekau into custody after the hearing.

Carlisle said after the hearing, "I'm very satisfied with the ruling."

As for Crandall's comments about disrespect, Carlisle said, "I reviewed the entire record and transcripts and I'm satisfied that we did everything that we were required to do."

Makekau, 58, pleaded no contest to eights counts of abusing five nieces and nephews from 2004-2005 in what prosecutors called a "house of torture."

A spokesman for Makekau's sovereignty group, the Kingdom of Hawaii, claimed after the hearing that Makekau did nothing wrong.

The courts have no jurisdiction over Makekau, who calls herself "Her Highness Rita Kulamika Makekau, Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Hawaiian Kingdom Government," said the spokesman, David-Wynn: Miller, who identified himself as a "plenipotentiary judge, ambassador and postmaster" based in Milwaukee, Wis.

2009 Jan 21