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Court Report

[SN file photo]


A 62-year-old man from Amaluia who was accused of sexually assaulted a 52-year-old, who is a relative — admitted to the court what happened. Michael Agasiva Sr. is scheduled to appear in High Court this Friday for sentencing.

Agasiva Sr, who holds a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Hawaii was initially charged with three criminal counts, including sexual abuse in the first degree, a class D felony; and two misdemeanor charges, trespass and assault in the third degree.

Under a plea bargain with the government, Agasiva, who is being held on bail of $10,000 since his arrest on January 01, 2017 pleaded guilty to the amended count one; sexual assault in the second degree, a class B misdemeanor, together with counts 2 and 3 as charged.

In his plea, Agavisa admitted that on January 01, 2017 in Amaluia, he unlawfully entered the house of the victim without permission for the purpose of committing a crime. When he entered the house, he saw the victim was sleeping on the couch in the living room.

Agasiva walked to the area where the victim was sleeping, pulled up her shirt and touched her left breast. The victim woke up when she felt a tickling sensation on her breast and she saw the defendant in a sexual act. The victim pushed the defendant away and swore at him to get out of the house. The victim then locked the house after the defendant left and called the police for assistance.

When asked by the court, Agasiva Sr admitted to the allegations against him; and the court accepted the defendant’s guilty plea.

Acting Associate Chief Justice Elvis P. Patea then set the sentence for Agasiva Sr on February 28th at 8:30 a.m. After the court announced the acceptance of the defendant’s plea of guilt, Agasiva Sr’s attorney Joshua Rovelli asked the court to release his client from jail to await his sentencing.

He pointed out that his client has been in jail for a year and 24 days, which is more than Agasiva Sr. can be sentenced for all the three charges for which he has been convicted.

Prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Woodrow Pengelly did not oppose the defense’s motion for Agasiva Sr to be release from jail.

However, he said that if the court allows the defendant to be released from prison, he must be ordered not to set foot in the village of Amaluia and not try to have any physical contact with the victim.

“If he’s not allowed to set foot back in Amaluia, so where is he going to stay?” Patea asked but there was no response from the government attorney.

The defense attorney said that Agavisa Sr is a registered Matai from Amaluia, and he has no other place to go to other than back to his home in Amaluia. The defense attorney told the court that his client is aware that he should not contact the victim in any way if the court releases him from jail.

Patea stated that because both attorneys have thrown a lot at the court to deal with, sentencing for Agasiva Sr would be set within 48 hours. He then ordered the Probation officer who was present in court to provide all the necessary information the court needs,

 and it should be ready by this Friday.

Associate Judges Paepae I. Faiai and Suapaia J. Pereira accompanied Judge Patea at this proceeding.


The government’s case against a 24-year-old from Tafuna, who is one of the two defendants in an assault case that surfaced last year is going to trial after both sides failed to reach a solution.

Richard Afa is facing one felony count of assault in the second degree. He appeared in High Court this week for a pretrial conference where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Michael White said the defense has received discovery from the government.

However, he said, the defense is unable to reach an agreement with the government and therefore, his client will go to trial.

The government alleges that on Sept. 13, 2017, Afa assaulted another man using a rock, which caused injuries to the victim’s head.


A 29-year-old man from Iliili who is accused of using a rock to assault another man has been arrested and charged with second degree assault — a felony — and two misdemeanor charges; property damage and unlawful use of a weapon.

Eti Valosaga made his initial appearance in the District Court this week where he waived his right to a preliminary examination. His next court appearance will be this Friday at 9 a.m. in the High Court where he is expected to enter a not guilty plea.

According to the government, Valoaga and the victim got into a disagreement and the victim allegedly attempted to assault Valoaga but in the end, it was Valoaga who assaulted the victim with a rock.

Valosaga’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Ryan Anderson, asked the court for a reduction of bail — from $5,000 to $1,000.

Anderson told the court his client is a hardworking man and he’s the only member of his family who works to provide for his wife and two children. He said his client is not a flight risk, and he has no intention of leaving his family.

Prosecutor Jillian Sadler opposed the defense motion, saying bail set by the court is the appropriate amount for the offense the defendant is accused of committing.

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia denied the defense’s motion and bail remains at $5,000; and because he is unable to post bond, Valosaga remains in custody at the TCF.