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Kauai youth pastor sentenced in beating

By Star-Advertiser staff and wire

LAST UPDATED: 1:01 a.m. HST, Jan 10, 2014

A 50-year-old Kauai youth pastor was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for beating a tenant whom he believed had been giving marijuana to his foster children three years ago, a Kauai newspaper reported.

James Rodelo, a youth pastor at Christian Missionary Retreat in Anahola, also was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to serve 400 hours of community service in a Kauai Circuit Court Thursday, The Garden Island reported.

In June 2011, Rodelo confronted James Heron, 38, after the pastor had been told by his children that Heron was giving them marijuana and getting high with them, the newspaper said.

At that time, Rodelo was allowing Heron to stay at the youth camp he ran in Anahola. When Rodelo asked Heron to leave the rental the two argued and a physical alternation ensued.

Heron, who was not present in court Wednesday, suffered serious bodily injury from a beating that included a knee to the face, according to County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Shauna Lee Cahill. The injuries required reconstructive surgery.

Rodelo was originally charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree assault. The prosecution amended the charges to first-degree terroristic threatening in a plea offer that Rodelo accepted on Sept. 10.

Kauai Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe sentenced Rodelo to six months in jail, but suspended all but 30 days. She also granted a motion for deferred acceptance which will keep Rodelo's conviction off his record after he completes probation.

Heron also has filed a negligence and injury civil suit in May against Beachview Realty for Rodelo's actions as a property manager. In the civil suit, Heron said he woke and found Rodelo in his apartment and accused him of striking in the face and stomach, causing disfigurement and disability. 

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