AARON WISDOM FINED FOR POSSESSION OF UNLICENSED FIREARMS
Aaron Wisdom was slapped with a $1,500 fine during his sentencing yesterday by Chief Justice Michael Kruse.
Wisdom was initially charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance of marijuana, Possession of Unlicensed Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition, however following a plea agreement with the government.
Wisdom pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of Possession of Unlicensed Firearm and Unlawful Possession of Ammunition while the more serious charges were dismissed at the request of the government. This plea agreement was taken under advisement and was accepted yesterday by the court.
Kruse noted in court yesterday that the government gave the defendant the plea offer because they were unable to prove other charges in this matter. Wisdom apologized for bringing the weapons into the territory without registering the weapons.
Customs Officer Sam Savali presented the weapons and a bag of ammunition before the High Court yesterday where Kruse ordered that the drug paraphernalia and marijuana residue be destroyed by the police in the presence of the Court Marshal. Kruse gave the defendant 30 days to either register his gun, and upon leaving the territory take it with him or the court will have it destroyed.
According to the government’s case the defendant was criminally charged following a discovery of marijuana substance, drugs paraphernalia, firearms and live ammunition in a container that belonged to him.
Court filing states that while Customs Agents were conducting a procedural search of the 20 foot container on January 13, 2012, they discovered marijuana substance and the Vice and Narcotics Division officers were contacted.
TWO OF FOUR MEN CHARGED IN SEX CASE SET TO ENTER GUILTY PLEAS
Two of the four men accused of having sexual intercourse with the same 14 year old girl—who is still in elementary school—have entered into a plea agreement with the government. The four defendants, Tavita Mariota, Anthony Sioka, Lewis Lokeni and Peni Levi are all charged with rape, sexual abuse first degree and endangering the welfare of a child. Mariota and Lokeni are scheduled to be in court for change of plea hearings.
According to the government’s case, on May 1, 2012 the incident came to light when a truancy officer at Lupelele Elementary School contacted the police about a possible sexually related case after observing “love bite marks” on a 14-year old girl’s neck.
The government claims that 27-year-old Mariota is accused of engaging in sexual intercourse with the victim. It's alleged that Mariota met with the victim outside of Mose’s Store in Tafuna, and on they went to Mariota’s house which was nearby.
Court filings state that Mariota undressed the victim and engaged in sexual intercourse. The government claims Mariota had sex with the girl on several occasions.
Police spoke to Mariota who admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse only once with the victim at his home in Fagaima around Flag Day 2012. He also told police that she slept at his house three times.
Lokeni was alleged to have had sex with the same girl on April 28, 2012 at his house in the village of Fagaima, and left “love bite marks” on the girl’s neck. The girl told police she started dating Lokeni on January 16, 2012. Court filings state that she and Lokeni engaged in sexual intercourse behind Mose’s store in Fagaima, and the second time in a deserted building, also in Fagaima and finally on April 17, 2012. Court filings state that the victim’s father told police that she swallowed Clorox bleach on April 30, 2012, in an attempt to hurt herself.
The victim explained to police that she attempted to kill herself after a teacher discovered the love bite marks on her neck on April 30, 2012 and questioned her about them. Police met with Lokeni at his home to investigate the allegations by Jane Doe.
Lokeni told police that Jane Doe ‘came onto him’, and that he did have sexual intercourse with Jane Doe behind Mose’s store in Fagaima around April 20, 2012. Details of the plea agreement are yet to be disclosed. The case of Levi and Anthony are pending in the High Court on pretrial conferences.
The rape charge that each defendant is facing is a class B felony punishable by imprisonment for five to fifteen years. Sexual abuse is a class D felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of $5,000 or both, and endangering the welfare of a child is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000 or both.