Accused rapists enter into plea agreements with govt
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was accused of raping his 17-year-old stepdaughter admitted to the court the accusation against him.
Wayne Otto Smith, 50-years-old was initially charged with 17 criminal counts, including 3 counts of rape; 2 counts of sodomy; 6 counts of first degree sexual abuse, and 3 counts of incest — all felonies, along with 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
However under a plea bargain with the government, Smith agreed to plead guilty to three counts of incest, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of 5 years, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Upon his guilty plea, Smith, who has been in custody since he was arrested last year, told the court that he knew that the victim was his stepdaughter, and he was married to the victim’s mother.
Smith further admits that between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012; June 1 to Dec. 31, 2014, and Jan 1 to Mar. 27, 2015, he had a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter.
According to the plea agreement, a person commits the crime of incest if he marries or purports to marry or engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with a person he knows to be: (2) his stepchild or stepparent, while the marriage creating that relationship exists and while the stepchild is 18 years of age of less.
Smith, who is scheduled to appear in court on June 22 for sentencing remains in custody.
Representing Smith is private attorney Richard deSaulles of the RDA Law Firm while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.
A 28-year-old bus driver who was accused for taking a 17-year-old to his home in Nu’uuli and raping her has entered into a pleas agreement with the government.
Michael Sene, who appeared before the High Court last week for a change of plea hearing, was initially charged with rape, kidnapping, sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse, all felonies. However under a plea agreement with the government, which was also accepted by the court, Sene agreed to plead guilty to an amended charge of deviate sexual assault.
Upon his guilty plea, Sene admited that on Oct. 31, 2017 in American Samoa, he took the victim to his home in Nu’uuli and performed deviate sexual conduct upon her.
According to the government’s case, the victim told police that after class at ASCC, she went looking for her friend and she couldn’t find her, and that’s when she (the victim) hopped on a bus heading towards Leone and recognized the bus driver as Sene, who she knew through her friend (the one she was looking for).
The victim asked the bus driver if he had seen her friend and the bus driver said no. Sene asked the victim if she could go with him to drop off other passenger, but she said no because her parents might look for her. Sene told her he would drop her off afterwards, but she continued to refuse. However she finally agreed to ride with Sene after he persisted.
Sene took the victim into a shack in Nu’uuli. Once inside the shack, Sene asked her if they could have sex but she said no because she has a boyfriend. After hearing the victim’s response, Sene grabbed her hands, pulled her closer to him, and told her they were going to make love, all the while, the victim continued to refuse and tried to push Sene away.
The two scuffled for awhile until Sene raped her. While Sene was raping her, the girl continued to fight back and told him she wanted to go home. Prosecutors claim Sene was too strong and the victim was unable to stop him.
Sene, who is scheduled to appear in court on June 21 for sentencing is still in custody unable to post a $50,000 surety bond.
Presenting Sene is Acting Public Defender Michael White, while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Woodrow Pengelly.