POSTED: 1:08 p.m. HST, Sep 12, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 7:06 p.m. HST, Sep 12, 2011
A federal judge on Monday sentenced a decorated former Maui police officer to a year and a half in prison for extorting sex from a woman shortly after she was released from jail and stealing about $1,500 from a driver during a traffic stop.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Richard Puglisi gave Kristopher Galon one year for sexual assault and six months for theft. The 38-year-old must also pay restitution to his victims.
"A police officer is supposed to be out there to defend and protect, and put forward the best foot in the community," Puglisi told Galon at the sentencing. "I view these crimes as incredibly serious. It's the public trust that will take some time to recover."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Cushman had asked Puglisi to sentence Galon to one year in prison.
Galon was a decorated officer before the charges forced him to give up his job. The Maui News reported he received the Silver Medal of Valor in 2004 for saving an unconscious driver from a vehicle after its engine exploded.
He pleaded guilty to the charges in May.
The plea agreement says Galon sexually assaulted a woman shortly after she was released from jail at the Lahaina police station in August 2008. While wearing his police uniform, and on duty, Galon pulled up to the woman in his marked police car and offered her a ride home. He agreed to help her to with the potential criminal charges pending against her, and forced her to engage in a sex act.
Nine months earlier, Galon stopped an illegal immigrant from Honduras for an alleged traffic violation. During a pat-down search, Galon took the driver's wallet, which contained $1,561 in cash. He warned the man not to drive, since he was in the U.S. illegally, and returned the wallet to him with the cash removed, according to the document.
Galon told Puglisi that he's punished for what he did every day when he looks at himself in the mirror. He said he accepted responsibility for his actions.
"The hardest thing is to explain to my 5-year-old son why I'm not a policeman anymore," Galon said.
He is due to report to the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu on Oct. 24 to begin serving his sentence.