By Associated Press - Thursday, March 3, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - A former Honolulu taxi driver convicted of sexually assaulting a female passenger has been sentenced to five years in prison.

A judge handed down the term Wednesday to Enio Ruben Tablas, who was found guilty last year of two counts of third-degree sexual assault. He also was ordered him to register as a sex offender and pay restitution to the victim.

Tablas is accused of offering the 23-year-old woman a free ride home in Waikiki two years ago, then taking her to an isolated area and sexually assaulting her.

“What the facts show is that your actions in setting up the incident at the heart of this case were premeditated and predatory,” First Circuit Court Judge Glenn J. Kim said. “You clearly had a plan that you wanted to carry out to target a young woman who was alone and intoxicated.”

During trial, Tablas testified that he thought the July 5, 2014, encounter was consensual and did not know the woman was intoxicated. He apologized in court Wednesday.

“I’m very sorry for what I’ve done,” Tablas said. “I have been found guilty, but I didn’t mean to do this.”

After his arrest, he posted bail and was allowed to drive a taxi until his conviction in November.

Tablas also is awaiting trial on charges of sexually assaulting another passenger in March 2014.

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