Taxi driver charged with stealing and attempted sexual abuse
Taxi driver Tamiano Tino has been charged with stealing and attempted sexual abuse first degree with bail set at $15,000. Tamiano made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday on allegations that he stole $180 from a passenger and also attempted to force a kiss on her while touching her inappropriately.
Tamiano is represented by the Public Defender’s Office while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale.
According to the government’s case, on August 3, 2013 about 5a.m. the complaining witness was in a taxi driven by the defendant and when he refused to let the female passenger out of the vehicle, the victim called the Department of Public Safety for assistance.
It's alleged when the girl placed the call, police officers could hear the girl shouting at the taxi driver as if she was trying to direct him to a certain location, and she kept repeating that the taxi driver would not let her out.
The government’s case claims that after two minutes of the first call, police received another call from the victim stating that she was now standing in front of the LDS Church in Leone. “Because the taxi driver did not stop to let her out, she had to jump out while the vehicle was still in motion.”
The investigator in this case is Police Officer Francine Roebeck. The complaining witness told police she asked the defendant for his phone so she could call her boyfriend, and when he gave it to her, she placed the call; however there was no answer. She then asked the defendant to take her home.
Court filings say the girl then placed three cell phones on her lap along with her dad’s wallet which had $180 and she fell asleep in the cab. “Victim fell asleep but was suddenly awakened by a heavy pressure on her face.”
It’s alleged Tamiano kissed the girl on her cheek and placed his hand on her thigh and when she looked around the defendant had taken the shortcut between Vailoa and Taputimu. According to the court filings, it's alleged the victim told the defendant to get off of her, after which he got out of the taxi and got back into the driver’s seat and drove off.
Court filings further state the victim told Tamiano to head straight to the Leone Sub Station, however he kept on driving in the opposite direction and she also told him to stop the vehicle, but he refused and kept on driving, say court filings. The government further claims when the defendant refused to stop the vehicle the girl jumped out of the car while it was still in motion.
Police investigation revealed that police officers spoke to the dispatcher of the Taxi Stand where the defendant was working. The dispatcher told police that at the time in question, the defendant was responding to a call from a woman waiting in front of McConnell Dowell.
Police spoke to the defendant, who initially denied picking up the girl, then at a later time allegedly admitted he picked up the girl and dropped her off at McDonald’s.
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