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Sentencing for local man in fed ‘groping’ case set for this month

fili@samoanews.com

The federal court in Honolulu has continued the sentencing of an American Samoa man accused of groping a female passenger on board a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Manila to Honolulu. The sentencing will take place later this month.

Twenty-two year-old Luavalu Seuva’ai was arrested and charged in August with sexual assault on board a civilian aircraft, which is a misdemeanor. He is accused of intentionally touching the female passenger’s breast underneath her clothing, according to prosecutors.

He was set to be sentenced Dec. 5 before U.S. District Court Barry M. Kurren; however, federal electronic courts records state that at the request of defense attorney Jessica Turk, and agreed to by federal prosecutors, sentencing is continued to Dec. 12. No details were available as to the reason for the continuance.

Court documents state federal prosecutors had no objection to Seuva’ai’s draft presentence report, which is under seal per orders of the court.

The defendant is out on a $25,000 signature bond and released to the custody of his sister in Honolulu. He faces up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $10,000 and one year probation.



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