- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A former Department of Land and Natural Resources enforcement officer has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Ethan Ferguson, 40, was sentenced Monday after being convicted in February of two counts of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/2pyTQfw).

The victim testified during trial that on Jan. 1, 2016, Ferguson was on duty and in uniform when he took a pipe of marijuana away from her on a beach in Hilo. He then led her to a secluded area and gave her the options of giving him “money, drugs or sex” to not be arrested, she said.

Ferguson denied the allegations, saying she kissed him twice and he kissed her back the second time.

A Honolulu Police Department criminologist testified DNA matching Ferguson’s was found in the victim’s shorts.

Ferguson, who was fired for misconduct by the Honolulu Police Department before being hired as a DLNR enforcement officer in 2013, was placed on paid administrative leave until his conviction in February. He will have to register as a sex offender.

DLNR said in a March 6 statement that Ferguson had been terminated from his job and the department “has no further comment on this matter.”

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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