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Overstayer since 2001, uncle jailed for sexual assault and incest

joy@samoanews.com

A man who pled guilty to incest for having sex with his niece was sentenced to serve 28 months in jail as part of his seven years probation. In the interest of protecting the identity of the victim in this case, Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant.
 
During sentencing last Friday, the defendant apologized for his actions and asked the court for leniency. The defendant also apologized to his sister, whose daughter was the victim in this matter, and asked his sister to forgive him.
 
The uncle was charged with felony counts of Rape, Sexual Abuse, Deviate Sexual Assault and Incest. During the change of plea hearing, the defendant pled guilty to deviate sexual assault and incest, while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges in the matter.  
 
Assistant Public Defender Mike White pointed out that despite the severity of the defendant’s actions, the defendant has expressed extreme remorse for what he has done, and he’s ready to take whatever the court’s sentencing will be in this case.
 
Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf recommended for the court to sentence the defendant to seven years probation, with 28 months in jail. Graf also asked that the defendant leave the territory upon release from jail, and serve the remainder of his probation term outside  the territory.
 
Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced the defendant to seven years in jail. However execution of sentence was suspended and defendant placed on probation for a period of seven years under certain conditions, namely, he must register as a sex offender and undergo HIV testing as prescribed by law for sex offenders. It was heard in court from the probation office that the defendant had entered the territory in 2001 on a 30-day permit.
 
The defendant admitted that on July 16, 2013 in Pago Pago, he went over to his sister’s house, woke up his niece, telling her he wanted to speak with her. The uncle then grabbed the victim and pushed her towards his house where he had sex with her, yet the victim repeatedly told the defendant to stop.
 
The defendant admitted his conduct was without legal justification or excuse. During the plea hearing the uncle said he accepted and understood that if the court imposed a different sentence than that recommended by the parties, he cannot later change his plea.  
 
The incident came to light when the defendant’s sister reported to police that she caught her brother naked in the bedroom with her daughter.  
 
Court filings say the victim told a social worker that she had been raped by her uncle.
 
During the police interview with the defendant, court filings say that he admitted that he has had feelings for his niece for a very long time and that he’s aroused every time he sees her.
 
Court filings further state that the first incident occurred when the defendant went to fetch the iPod charger and the girl was sleeping, with her shirt halfway up, and that’s when he touched her on her private parts. The second incident occurred on July 17, 2013 when he forced his niece to have sex with him.



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