MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MOLESTING SEVEN YEAR OLD GIRL
Chief Justice Michael Kruse has ordered the probation report in the case of Faalogo Fiapito who pled guilty to child molesting earlier this week. The 49-year-old man was implicated in a sexually related case involving a seven-year old girl.
The defendant who lives in Pavaia’i was charged with one count of child molestation and endangering the welfare of a child. In the plea deal the defendant pled guilty to the child molesting charge which is a class A felony punishable by imprisonment for life, or from ten to thirty years in jail with a mandatory minimum prison term of ten years without probation or parole while the remaining count, a misdemeanor was dismissed as part of the deal.
During the plea hearing, the defendant admitted he saw the girl at her house and he grabbed her hand and pulled her to a nearby banana plantation where he laid the girl down and attempted to take off her clothes at the same time touching the girl in her private parts. The incident came to light on Jan. 20, 2013, when the victim’s father sought assistance from police. Court filings say the victim was on her way to the bathroom when the defendant came up to her and grabbed her hand, pulling her to the back of the house.
Faapito is the victim's neighbor. It's alleged the defendant told the girl to go with him to the banana plantation, but the victim refused, however the defendant did not stop. When the victim and the defendant arrived at the plantation the defendant pulled down his pants and then he pulled down the victim’s pants and forcibly kissed the seven-year-old and started touching the victim on her private parts.
Later the the victim heard her brother calling her name and it was then the defendant took off running. The victim went home and told her grandmother about what had allegedly occurred and that’s when the family of the victim sought help from the authorities.
Police on the day in question went to the place where the defendant was staying and arrested him. It's alleged police smelled a strong odor of alcohol emitting from Fa’apito’s breath. Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing in this case on November 15, 2013.
FORMER KVZK CAMERA MAN JAILED FOLLOWING ACCIDENT IN GOVT VEHICLE
“You’re a drunk, a dangerous drunk and a vicious drunk,” said District Court Judge John Ward when handing down sentencing for former KVZK TV cameraman Samitioata Mauga. Mauga’s recent case charges him with driving under the influence of alcohol which he pled guilty to, in connection with a government vehicle he was driving that flipped in Faga’alu in August this year.
The defendant pleaded with the court for a second chance. In response, Ward said, “You don’t care about your family, you don’t care about your job, all you care about is yourself and I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend that you see a physician who can prescribe medicine that can help… when you crave for alcohol.”
Mauga was sentenced to serve 90 days, however Ward deferred 60 days and ordered that Mauga serve 30 days in jail. He was also ordered to undergo alcohol counseling and pay a $100 fine.
Ward further noted that Mauga was sentenced in July for an assault case which also involved alcohol, and now he’s before the court for a separate matter, also involving alcohol.
The District Court judge told the defendant to surrender himself to the Tafuna Correctional Facility today.
While the defendant told the court he’s been placed on administrative leave since the incident, Director for KVZK TV, Fagafaga Daniel Langkilde told Samoa News that Mauga was terminated following that accident.
ONE WOMAN CHARGED IN A BAR FIGHT ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Last week, one of the two women accused of assaulting another woman at a night club two months ago has entered a guilty plea to first degree assault that carries a jail term of up to 20 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Etevise Tomai was charged together with her friend Shary Mua. They are both represented by the Public Defender’s office.
However, Chief Justice Michael Kruse has taken Tomai’s plea under advisement while the court awaits the pre sentence report from the probation officer given the seriousness of the case and the fact that the scars sustained by the victim are permanent.
According to the government’s case, when police arrived at the scene, Mua and Tomai were in a vehicle about to leave the scene. One of the witnesses told police the defendants appeared to be trying to cause trouble with the victim.
During the altercation, the defendants threw glasses at the victim, with Tomai’s landing on the victim’s face, while Mua’s missed.
As a result, the victim suffered five deep cuts on the left side of her face, which required 17 stitches and she also sustained a fractured nose.
Prosecuting this case is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.
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