- A man who tried to sell the 200-year-old
skull of a native Hawaiian warrior on eBay was sentenced
Monday to 600 hours of community service and ordered to
publish an apology in several Hawaiian newspapers.
Jerry Hasson of Huntington Beach must also pay more
than $13,000 and post the same apology on an eBay
bulletin board dedicated to archaeological memorabilia.
Hasson, 56, told U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard
Matz that he tried to sell the skull because he had been
diagnosed with cancer and needed more money.
"I wasn't aware, I wasn't knowledgeable about how
Hawaiians feel about native remains," Hasson said in
Hasson took the skull from an archaeological
excavation near a Maui beach in 1969.
He had sneaked onto the beach with friends and found
an entire skeleton - but only took the skull, Hasson
wrote in his original posting on eBay.
A native Hawaiian saw the offering and told Hasson to
remove it, which he did.
But an undercover agent with the U.S. Bureau of
Indian Affairs later contacted Hasson about the skull.
Hasson told him that although he'd removed the ad from
eBay, he was now offering the skull directly to "a
handful of bidders."
Hasson pleaded guilty in January to a federal charge
of engaging in interstate commerce with illegally
unearthed archaeological items.
The skull will be returned to Hawaii with a portion
of the money from Hasson's fee.