Man convicted of sexually abusing a 15-yr-old girl gets 20 months in jail
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 48-year-old Filipino national who was convicted of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl has been ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders — after he serves 20 months at the TCF — as a condition of a 5-year probation sentence.
Melchor Alamis, who told the court that he came here to work as a mechanic, was initially charged with rape, sodomy, and three counts of first-degree sexual abuse. However under a plea agreement with the government, he pled guilty to first-degree sexual assault and the remaining charges were dismissed.
With his guilty plea, Alamis admits that on the night of June 30, 2017, he touched the breast of a 15-year-old girl while she was sleeping.
According to Alamis, he was living with the victim’s family during the time of the incident, and the victim considered him a second father.
Alamis appeared before Acting Associate Judge Elvis P. Patea for sentencing last week.
When given the chance to address the court, Alamis first apologized to the victim’s family. He said what happened that night shouldn’t have happened and he was careless. He then asked the family for forgiveness.
He also apologized to the court, the people of American Samoa, his wife, and his sponsor.
His attorney, Acting Public Defender Michael White told the court his client is truly remorseful and he has admitted to the charges against him. According to White, his client wishes to return to the Philippines, because his immigration paperwork expired while he was incarcerated; his wife left him; and there's no one willing to help him if he stays here.
Prosecutor Christy Dunn told the court Alamis was living with the victim's family for many years — long before the victim was born — and they considered him family.
The victim looked at Alamis as a second dad, she trusted him and respected him; however, Alamis breached that trust, said Dunn.
Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea said the defendant came to the territory to look for a better future. During that time he stayed with a family that became his own but he sexually abused a girl that was like a daughter to him. The family is fearful of having him return to live with them.
Patea said the only answer to the family's concern is to lock up the defendant in prison, and then allow him to depart the territory so he can live far away from the victim.
For first-degree sexual abuse, the court sentenced Alamis to 5 years in prison.
Execution of the sentence is suspended, and he is placed on probation for 5 years under the certain conditions that include serving 20 months at the TCF without release.
All but 12 months of detention will be stayed. Upon release, Alamis is ordered to depart American Samoa and remain outside of its borders for the remainder of probation.
While detained, Alamis is not eligible for Warden Trustee status at the TCF. The court ordered that the defendant would only be released to the custody of the Probation Office upon completion of his detention period. The Probation office will then escort him to his point of departure, whether the airport of the port.
Other conditions include registering as a sex offender, and taking an HIV test.
Patea ordered the government attorney to deliver a certified copy of the court’s judgment to the Chief Immigration Officer to ensure Alamis's name will be on their lookout list, to avoid any future attempts to re-enter American Samoa.
Before the court adjourned, Patea told Alamis that it is the court's belief that the best decision for him is to return to his homeland, not only for the protection of the victim, but also his own safety if this sort of behavior continues in the future.