POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2013
WAILUKU » A former Maui police sergeant was sentenced Wednesday to a one-year jail term on a charge of molesting a teenage girl.
Paul Bailey, 46, of Kahului was charged with third-degree sexual assault but pleaded no contest to second-degree assault in a deal with prosecutors. He denies he sexually assaulted the girl.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera said Bailey was driving the then-16-year-old girl home last year when he stopped in a dark, secluded area and began groping her and forced her to touch him sexually.
Bailey maintained the accusations are false, arguing they stem from a dispute between him and the girl's mother. He said the girl asked him to pull over because she wanted to discuss politics.
He was rubbing her back when she said he was touching her breast and immediately took his hand away, according to defense attorney Ben Summit.
He should have known better than to put himself in that situation, Bailey said.
"I take responsibility for what happened that night, even for false accusations," he said. "I take responsibility for my poor judgment, and I want to make sure my family is not hurt because of the situation. Nothing like this will ever happen again."
Judge Richard Bissen told Bailey he doesn't dispute letters of praise on his behalf, but he also believes the victim's claims, the Maui News reported.
Bailey served in the Marine Corps and was an 18-year veteran of the Maui Police Department, his attorney said.
"I have gone from being a respected officer in the Police Department to driving a trash truck," Bailey said. "I'm not complaining, but the difference is a huge effect on me. I feel I have already been punished."