Repeat offender sentenced to ten years in prison for sexual abuse of stepdaughters
A man who was previously jailed in a sex case involving his biological daughter was yesterday sentenced to ten years in jail, in a sexually related case involving two of his step-daughters, when they were ages 8 and 12.
Sentencing was handed down by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr yesterday morning. The defendant was charged in November last year. Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant to protect the identity of the minor victims.
The stepfather was facing two charges of first degree sexual abuse and one count of third degree assault for offensive touching. In a plea agreement with the government the defendant pled guilty to the sexual abuse charges, and in return for his guilty plea, the government moved for the court to dismiss the remaining charge.
The sexual abuse counts each carry a jail term of up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. During sentencing, the defendant apologized, pointing out his remorse for his wrongful actions. The defendant pleaded with the court for a second chance to straighten out his life.
The defendant apologized to his wife, the government and the two girls involved in the matter. He pointed out that not only is he a prisoner, but is a sinner who has broken the law, and this has ridiculed his family's good name. He said this is something which he will take to the grave.
Assistant Public Defender Joel Shiver informed the court the defendant is fully remorseful of his actions, while the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Tiffany Oldfield asked the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum allowable under the law, given the severity of his actions towards his two stepdaughters.
Oldfield informed the court the defendant had been implicated in similar criminal conduct where he had been charged for a sexual offense toward his biological daughter several years ago, for which he was jailed. Yet, he has done it again to his wife’s children.
The prosecutor pointed out to the court, the victims in this matter are minors, and they have been traumatized. She said they are struggling to slowly move on with their lives.
She stated that the defendant has a sickness of lust and such people should remain in jail and away from society, in order to protect young children, and to prevent any further sexual incidents with the defendant.
The judges went into a short recess to deliberate. Within just a few minutes they returned to the bench and handed down a five__-year jail sentence for each count of sexual abuse.
According to the government’s case, the defendant had moved in with his wife in Fagatogo when one of the girls (A.T.) was 12 years old, and the other girl, R.T. was 8 years old. Court filings say that A.T. reported the first incident occurred when she was 10 years old in the middle of the 4th grade.
The defendant allegedly pushed the little girl on the bed, and inappropriately touched the girl under her shirt and kissed her. The victim told her mother, “who screamed at the defendant to stop or she would call the police,” say court filings.
The second incident occurred some time during the summer of 2012 where defendant conducted similar action and again the young girl told her mother who again screamed at her husband to stop or she would call the police. According to the government’s case, the third incident occurred in 2012 when A.T. was in 5th grade, and once again the victim’s mother told her husband to stop or she would call police.
The fourth incident was the Friday before White Sunday 2012 when the older victim, who was 12 at the time, told her mother the defendant grabbed her from behind and allegedly touched her inappropriately and started kissing her.
Court filings say this time a family meeting was called and the defendant left that evening, however the next day the defendant returned and apologized to the victim’s mother and returned to live with them.
A.T. told police that in one of the incidents in 2012 the defendant kissed her and her younger sister. Court filings say police spoke to R.T. (8 years), who said the defendant kissed her and this happened once at their residence in Fagatogo.