By Zachary FR Anderson, AsAmNews Staff Writer
A former US Naval petty officer has been sentenced to serve two consecutive 20-year prison terms for sex trafficking Native Hawaiian girls.
Court documents from the defense state that prior to this conviction, Petty Officer Marquis Green, had no criminal history other than a minor traffic matter a decade ago. Then in December 2013, he was arrested for sex trafficking two girls under the age of 18.
“Despite a lack of prior convictions, the State notes in court documents that [Green] was capable of living a ‘double life’ in which he masqueraded as a responsible, law-abiding citizen while also secretly running a criminal enterprise,” said official court documents detailing the sentencing.
Those same documents also state that Green served in the Navy from June 2001 to March 2014 when he was discharged because of this case.
He was also charged and convicted for his involvement with a 15-year-old girl whom he sexually assaulted and whipped with a belt in 2013, The Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
According to the Civil Beat, he is the first person in Hawaii to be charged for first degree sex trafficking since 2015.
In April, a jury found Green guilty of four counts– one count of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of first-degree sex trafficking, and one count of third-degree sexual assault.
“The public needs to know that sex trafficking and buying girls are a part of US military culture and practice in the Pacific…” Khara Jabola-Carolus, the executive director of Hawaii’s State Commission on the Status of Women told AsAmNews. “By hiding the fact, whether intentional or accidental, that Green was military, it weakens the impact of this conviction because the military holds no responsibility.”
In a 2020 study conducted by the Hawaii nonprofit Child & Family Service, it was reported that 64 percent of sex trafficking victims in Hawaii identify as being all or partially Native Hawaiian and that 23 percent reported being trafficked before turning 18.
However, a 2021 report from the Hawaii State Attorney General to the legislature said that a lack of a centralized sex trafficking database in Hawaii keeps government and non-government entities from understanding the true scope of the problem.
The Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence found that 60-80 percent of Pacific Islander women and girls will experience sexual violence in their lifetime.
This is not the first time that a member of the US military serving in the Pacific has been found guilty of sex crimes. In Okinawa, where the US Marine Corp has 11 installations, 65 marines were court-martialed for sexual offenses against Okinawans between 2015-2017.
If you or a family member in Hawaii are a victim of sexual violence or human trafficking, do not hesitate to contact the following organizations for help:
Susannah Wesley Community Center (808) 847-1535.
Hawaii Department of Human Services/Child Welfare Services (808) 832-1999
Nation Human Trafficking Resource Center 1 (888) 373-7888 or text “HELP” to 233733 (BEFREE)
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