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Man convicted of sodomizing 5-year-old is no longer “roaming freely”

This is the house at the back of the old DPS building in Fagatogo where Mua’iga Siatiu a.k.a Povi is serving his 5-year straight sentence, after he was convicted by the High Court last year for sodomizing a 5-year-old girl. [photo: AF]

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The man convicted of sodomizing a 5-year-old girl and was seen by members of the community including family members of the young girl roaming freely with some of the DPS police officers is finally being locked up without release, by orders of Police Commissioner Le’i Sonny Thompson.

Samoa News visited the Central police station in Fagatogo on Friday morning, March 02, 2018, to see if Mua’iga Siatiu a.k.a. Povi was still hanging around the office. This was the same day a story based on complaints from members of the community and even the victim’s family members was published in the newspaper.

A police officer confirmed to Samoa News that Povi is no longer roaming free inside the police office or on the road, because the Police Commissioner ordered him to be locked inside an old prison cell at the back of the old DPS building.

The police officer, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of any punishment, said  the decision to lock up Povi without any release was made after the story was published in Samoa News.

“Povi is now ordered to be locked up and there are police officers assigned to monitor him every hour to make sure he’s still inside his cell,” said the officer.

Samoa News was also told that the reason why Povi was seen by members of the community roaming freely inside and around the Central police station in Fagatogo was because he was allowed by some “senior police officers” to do their chores.

Samoa News visited the old prison cell behind the old DPS building last week, and found clothes hanging in front of the building. The front door of the building was open and inside was three cells. Povi is locked inside the cell that used to be the main office for the old DPS Vice and Narcotics Units. The room has an air conditioner.

The person who originally reported Povi “roaming freely” went to the DPS main office in Fagatogo last month to follow up on a report her husband filed last year and noticed that the person, who was not a police officer sitting on the couch was Povi. She called Samoa News last week and thanked us for voicing her complaints, which resulted in the prisoner being locked up.

“I visited the DPS main office in Fagatogo last week just to see if this prisoner is still sitting freely inside the office, and I was told by a friendly police officer that the person I was looking for is no longer a free man, but he was ordered to be locked up after DPS found out about the complaints by the public which was in the newspaper,” she said.

Following his conviction last year, Povi was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and he was supposed to serve out his time at the DPS central station, after it came to light during a court proceeding in Dec. 2016, that he was assaulted by inmates at TCF where he was being held at the time.

The beating resulted in Povi sustaining injuries to his face, including a head wound that required stitches.

During his preliminary hearing he begged the court, at the time, to remove him from the TCF for fear of his life. District Court Judge Pro Temp Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde, who handled Povi’s case that day, accepted the request and Povi was transferred to the police station in Fagatogo. He is serving his time out there also.

As a condition of Povi’s sentence, upon release from TCF, he is to immediately depart the territory after he serves 5 years, and he is to remain outside of the territory for 15 years, which is his probation term.