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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

DANIEL CHANG SR

Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted a plea agreement between the government and an elderly Asian man accused of inappropriately touching a minor.

Daniel Chang Sr was initially facing five felony charges of first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

In the plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to the amended felony charge of second degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child a misdemeanor, while the government moves to dismiss the remaining charges.

According to court documents, the incident which allegedly happened between August 2010 and January 2011, cites that Chang Sr. allegedly touched private parts on the 10 year old’s body.

Sentencing for Chang Sr. is scheduled for March 16, 2012. Chang Sr. is represented by Sharon Rancourt. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau, told Samoa News outside the court that she cannot go into details why the government struck this plea agreement.

ANDRES VILLAR

A man, who broke into the Department of Health, vandalized the building and stole two DOH vehicles has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Twenty-one-year-old Andres Villar pled guilty to two counts of stealing after which government moved to dismiss two other charges of second degree burglary and third degree property damage.

Each count of stealing carries a jail term of up to 7 years in jail and or a fine of up to $5,000.

Court filing says, the defendant broke into the Tafuna Community Health Center October last year, and stole two Department of Health vehicles - license plate DOH-6 and DOH-35. The defendant then drove one vehicle into the DOH’s gate, and later wrecked the same vehicle.

Villar told the court, he was angry at his father who was off island, and it drove him to break into the Health Center. Part of the plea agreement that was announced in court, the defendant has agreed to pay restitution to the government vehicles and properties that were damaged.

Kruse accepted the plea agreements and scheduled sentencing March 16, 2012. Villar is represented by the public defender’s office while prosecuting was Cecilia Reyna.

Presiding was Chief Justice Michael Kruse and Associate Judge Fa’amausili Fa’asua Pomele.

JUVENILES APPREHENDED AFTER ESCAPE

Two juveniles, who broke out of Juvenile Detention Center, Wednesday evening, were caught bus riding Thursday morning. This was confirmed by Assistant Attorney General Terrie Bullinger.

Correction officers and Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division were out more than 10 hours looking for the juveniles.

The pair climbed the fence at the Juvenile Detention Center when they escaped. One juvenile who escaped, is in custody following multiple burglaries and assault.  

Speaking with Samoa News, Bullinger said the juvenile involved in the numerous burglaries has escaped jail three times in the last four months. “This specific juvenile, was sentenced up to two years in 2009 and was placed on parole, however after he was out on parole, he quickly re-offended.

“Therefore his parole was revoked and he was committed back to the juvenile facility”, she explained.

The other juvenile, is in custody awaiting his appearance before the District Court, for sentencing. The prosecutor said, she’s waiting for the police report regarding this matter and she’s looking at filing a juvenile delinquency petition for the pair regarding their escape.



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