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Press Release

Kauai Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Manufacturing Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii


HONOLULU – Chief United States District Court Judge J. Michael Seabright sentenced Michael J. Terui, age 38, to 300 months (25 years) in prison yesterday, plus a lifetime period of supervised release, for four counts of manufacturing child pornography. Terui will also be required to register as a sex offender. Terui pled guilty to the offenses on December 12, 2017.

Kenji M. Price, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to court documents and information presented in court, Terui repeatedly sexually abused numerous young children, ranging in age from seven to 13 years old, over a period of more than a decade. Fifteen minor victims have been identified. Terui acted as an outreach resource for his father’s church, which held services in the homes of members of the congregation and offered outreach programs to families that lacked a father figure in the home. Terui would often host "sleepovers" and other gatherings at his residence, where he kept video games and movies, which he used to "groom" the children and gain their trust. Church members and other parents would entrust their children to Terui’s care. Terui engaged in sex acts with the children, often while they were sleeping (or pretending to sleep). Terui recorded his conduct using hidden and handheld digital video cameras. Terui also lured his child-victims on vacations in an effort to bond with them and use them for his sexual gratification. Digital storage media found at Terui’s house contained 77 child pornographic video files and 690 child pornographic images.

At yesterday’s sentencing, Chief Judge Seabright commented that Terui’s conduct was "shocking, abhorrent, callous, and devastating," and told Terui that he had "left a trail of pain through what you’ve done." Chief Judge Seabright said that this was the "worst type of breach of trust possible." In imposing the 25-year sentence, Chief Judge Seabright noted several aggravating factors, including that Terui had groomed the children to gain their trust; taken advantage of his position in the church in order to gain access to the children; and engaged in the egregious sexual abuse over a period of more than 10 years. Chief Judge Seabright also highlighted that Terui had recorded the abuse of the children in order to use the recordings for his future sexual gratification. Four parents of the minor victims participated in the sentencing. The parent of one victim told Terui that he was a "wolf in sheep’s clothing" and accused him of "hiding behind the ministry."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marc A. Wallenstein.

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Elliot Enoki,

Updated June 15, 2018