Bus driver accused in sex case with 15yr old — case dismissed
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The High Court has dismissed the case against a bus driver accused of having sexual relations with a 15-year-old girl last year, following a motion from the government to dismiss the case last week.
Kirisimasi Faumui’s jury trial was scheduled for this week. A Status Hearing was called before Acting Justice, Elvis P. Patea last Monday, to determine whether the government’s expert witness can be allowed to testify during the trial this week.
Assistant Attorney General, Woodrow Pengelly appeared on behalf of the government, while Public Defender Michael White represented the defendant, who has been out on surety bond.
When the case was called last week, a motion from the government was already filed, asking the court to dismiss the case against Faumui. The government felt that they would not be able to prove their case without the testimony of the expert witness. White did not oppose the motion.
Patea then granted the government’s motion.
Before the scheduled second Status Hearing last Monday, a first Status Hearing was called two weeks ago, for the court to determine whether both sides are ready for a jury trial, which was scheduled for yesterday.
When the case was called, White informed the court that he strongly objects the government’s move to call a new witness during trial.
He said he was never informed by the government that they were going to call an expert witness during trial and he was only told about it a few weeks ago. He added that he doesn’t have any information about the expert.
But Pengelly claimed that they did notify the defense of their intention to call an expert to testify.
He said the expert they anticipated to call is someone with many years of experience in handling cases like this, and they feel that her testimony will be helpful as far as solidifying the government’s case.
White continued to argue that he never heard about this expert witness and he needed a report about this expert, to submit to his expert for review.
Patea then scheduled a second Status Hearing for last Monday, so the government can produce their expert witness.
When the case was called, there was no expert witness.
Faumui was charged with two counts of sodomy; two counts of deviated sexual assault; three counts of first degree sexual abuse; one count of rape; and one count of sexual assault last year, after the victim and her mother filed a complaint in April 2017.
The 15-year old high school victim is alleged to have told police that the defendant is 50-plus years old, an aiga bus driver, and that they “started a couple-relationship back in August of 2015” after she graduated from 8th grade.
The victim claims she told Faumui her age and alleges that he bought her things, even a phone so they could communicate.
The government alleges that the relationship began in Aug. 2015 with making-out and that by Feb. 2016 their relationship became sexual.
The victim alleges they had sexual intercourse about four or five times and the last time was before Christmas 2016.
According to the affidavit, Faumui at first denied having a relationship with the girl but after he was told that police read through text messages and Facebook messages he sent the victim, Faumui allegedly admitted that he and the girl started a relationship in April (last year).
He also allegedly admitted that he knew the girl was a minor and claims that he had asked the victim’s mother for permission to date her daughter and that the mother was aware of their relationship.
According to police, Faumui said he only sent text messages and Facebook messages to the victim of what he would do to her - he even allegedly admitted kissing her - but denied ever having sex with her.
The defendant claims he bought clothing, shoes and food for the girl because her family could not afford to buy her those things.
According to police, the defendant refused to provide a written statement but stated that his verbal statement was enough.