Kona man sentenced up to 20 years in prison for sexual assault of a minor under 14
A Kona man found guilty in September on charges of continuous sexual of a minor was sentenced on Friday in Kona Circuit Court to serve up to a 20-year prison term.
Forty-five-year-old Joshua Masuda-Mercado was found guilty by a Kona jury for charges of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Minor Under the Age of Fourteen Years and Attempted Sexual Assault in the First Degree. Masuda-Mercado was sentenced to 20-year prison terms for each offense. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently. The case stemmed from a string of incidents that occurred between November 2014 and August 2018 and a separate incident on July 2, 2019.
Both Continuous Sexual Assault of a Minor and Attempted Sexual Assault in the First Degree are class A felony offenses which carry a maximum penalty of a 20-year prison term and also requires registering as a sex offender.
“Protecting our keiki is a top priority within our Office,” said Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen. “Sex assault against a minor is an egregious crime that will not be tolerated. We will continue to work tirelessly to seek justice for victims of sexual abuse and to hold offenders accountable.”
Masuda-Mercado was originally charged via grand jury indictment in August of 2020. The Indictment warrant remained outstanding and was unserved for ten months. In June of 2021, Masuda-Mercado was located in Tennessee and Hawai‘i County Prosecutor’s Investigators coordinated his extradition back to Hawai‘i to face the felony charges.