THEFT DEFENDANTS FINED $500
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond fined Johnny Talia and Mosaiah Olo $500, in connection with a burglary of the O&O Warehouse in Petesa in February last year. The defendants were both facing first degree burglary and stealing charges, which are felonies, however, in a plea agreement in Talia’s case held yesterday, both defendants pled guilty to stealing while the government moved to dismiss the burglary charge.
The stealing count is a class C felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment. The defendants both apologized for their actions and pleaded with the court for leniency.
Richmond fined the defendants $500 each. Samoa News understands there were four suspects in this case, and only two were charged. Between the two men who were not charged, one was the son of a police officer.
According to the government’s case on Feb. 8, 2011, a police detective who lives next to the O&O warehouse, reported to the police a burglary in progress, and when police arrived the suspects took off on foot, leaving the loot behind — a total of ten cases were recovered.The total value of the stolen items was $600 and the products were photographed and returned to O&O. Three of the four suspects have made admissions to police in this matter.
Talia and Olo admitted to helping remove the stolen items from within the O&O compound along with one other suspect, but that it was the other suspects who suggested that they remove the items and hide them somewhere so they could be sold later to get cash.
Court filings say that one of the other suspects was contacted, but he denied any involvement in the incident.
MAN FACING MULTIPLE SEX CHARGES
The government has charged a 28-year-old man on allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 15 year-old girl. Tusitala Afaese also known as Faaofo is charged with rape, sodomy, deviate sexual assault, first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court earlier this week and is represented by Acting Public Defender Douglas Fiaui while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
The rape and sodomy charges are class C felonies punishable from five to 15 years in jail; deviate sexual assault is class C felony which carries a jail term of up to seven years in jail, and the sexual abuse count is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail.
The endangerment count is a misdemeanor, punishable up to one year in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000.
According to the government’s case, the incident came to light when the girl’s father asked the police for assistance in the search of his daughter who had run away from home. The case was assigned to police officer Kimberly Mau.
The victim told police she met the defendant through a friend and had known him for a week; she alleged they had sex on four separate occasions, once on Feb. 15, 2013 and three times the next day. The defendant told police that the girl called him and they met behind a church in Tafuna, according to court filings.
MIKE ATONIO ENTERS GUILTY PLEA IN ASSAULT CASE
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement filed in the government’s case against Mike Atonio. He was facing second degree assault, a class D felony, punishable with up to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000, or both fine and jail time, and public peace disturbance, a class B misdemeanor which carries a jail term of up to six months, a fine of $500, or both.
In the plea agreement the defendant pleaded guilty to the assault count, while the PPD charge was dismissed. According to the government’s case, the victim alleges that he was struck in the head with a beer bottle after he called out to a person he wanted to talk to, while he was walking to the store with his nephew.
The victim sustained a laceration to his head that required five stitches. Sentencing for the defendant has been scheduled for next month.
RAPE DEFENDANT DENIES CHARGES
A man in his 30’s has been accused of abducting a girl into nearby bushes and raping her. The incident is alleged to have occurred in Leone last week, and the defendant, Viliami Lolohea, was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning where he denied the sexual charges against him.
Lolohea is charged with rape and sexual abuse which are both felonies. His 'not guilty' plea was entered before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond.
According to the government’s case, police were called for assistance after the complaining witness informed her mother about the alleged rape.
According to the government’s case, Social Services was contacted about this matter and they took the girl to LBJ hospital for a checkup. After her checkup, the victim was then taken to a shelter.
According to the government, the investigating officer, Abraham Kava along with his Commanding Officer, Sergeant Abel Penetusi went back to search for the defendant, and they found him at his residence, where he was apprehended. Court filings say the defendant, who appeared to be intoxicated, declined to make a statement to police about the allegations.