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Cecilio Rodriguez pleads no contest in molestation cases

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 5:13 p.m. HST, Jan 27, 2012

Cecilio Rodriguez, once part of the duo known as Cecilio & Kapono, will spend one year in jail after pleading no contest today to sexually molesting two young sisters in Los Angeles 16 years ago.

He will report to the Los Angeles County Jail on March 9.

Deputy District Attorney Adrian Roxas said Rodriguez, 67, pleaded to sexually molesting the first victim between 1996 and 1998, and sexually molesting her sister between 1997 and 1999. He was given a six-year suspended sentence 

Both victims tearfully addressed Superior Court Judge Gary Hahn in Compton, Calif., telling the judge how Rodriguez had violated their parents' trust, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office reported. They were accompanied by their parents.

Hahn ordered Rodriguez to serve 365 days in jail and 52 weeks of sexual offender counseling and placed him on five years probation. If he violates his probation, he faces a six-year prison term. 

Rodriguez was arrested Sept. 27 in Los Angeles for allegedly committing a sex crime against two girls, who were both under age 14 at the time. The two-count felony complaint against Rodriguez said the first alleged sex crime occurred with an underage girl between Nov. 6, 1997, and Nov. 5, 1999. The second occurred between May 6, 1996, and May 5, 1998.

Rodriguez was on tour at the various times of the assaults and staying with girls' family in their Carson home. One victim, now 21, was between 7 and 8 years old at the time of the assault and her sister, now 23, was between 8 and 9 years old when she was sexually molested. Under California law, charges may be filed for felony sex crimes committed against victims younger than 18 who come forward before their 28th birthday.

Rodriguez has been free after posting $200,000 bail on Oct. 1.

The crimes were discovered last year when one of the women revealed the assault to her father after she refused to visit Rodriguez in Hawaii, Roxas said.

Carson police said the allegations of sexual abuse were not revealed until earlier this year when the father of one of the women asked her to deliver a package to the Rodriguez's home in Hawaii. The victim then told her father of the abuse by Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, who was arrested in Hawaii in 1992 for similar assaults on two girls, also was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Roxas said Rodriguez pleaded during a regular court appearance, meaning it was not part of a plea agreement. 

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department's Special Victim's Bureau investigated the case.

Rodriguez met up with Hawaiian musician Henry Kapono and the musical duo Cecilio & Kapono was born. The duo sometimes known as "C and K" remained together into the early '80s.

Rodriguez was convicted of attempted sexual assault 18 years ago in Hawaii County. He pleaded no contest to attempted sexual assault in the second degree in 1994 and was sentenced to one year in jail, 500 hours of community service and mandatory participation in a sex-offender treatment program.

As part of his 1994 deferred acceptance plea, which would erase the conviction from his record if he stayed out of trouble for 10 years, he was ordered to avoid employment where he would be with children under 14 without the supervision of an approved adult. He also was prohibited from making contact with any minor child without the permission of his probation officer, according to Hawaii court records.

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