Man convicted of sodomizing 5-year-old is roaming around freely
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Since last year, Samoa News has received numerous complaints from the public, including family members of a 5-year-old girl — the victim of a sexually motivated crime — for which an overstayer from Samoa was convicted of sodomy.
The complaints are centered around claims that Mua’iga Siatiu a.k.a. Povi has allegedly been seen walking freely in public, although he should be sitting in a cell at the Central DPS station in Fagatogo.
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 the Territorial Correctional Facility where he was being held.
The beating resulted in Povi sustaining injuries to the facial area, including a head wound that required stitches. During his preliminary hearing (PX) 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. After he was convicted, he was returned to the Fagatogo police station to serve out his 5-year sentence.
Samoa News should point out that the DPS building is currently under reconstruction, following damages late last year.
It is not known at this time, where exactly Povi is being held — in terms of a ‘cell’ at the temporary Fagatogo DPS office in the Lumana’i building — and efforts to get a comment from Police Commissioner, Le’i Sonny Thompson yesterday in regards to the issue, were unsuccessful.
As a condition of his sentence, Povi is to depart the territory after he serves 5 years in jail, and he is to remain outside of its borders for 15 years, which is his probation term.
Several members of the public, including an elderly woman who claims that she is the aunty of the 5-year-old victim, called Samoa News yesterday afternoon complaining about seeing Povi on the road with several police officers.
Another caller said she was shocked to see Povi running — “kolegi” — on the road freely around 3 p.m. together with several police officers this week. She explained that the inmate was acting like he was another police officer, a free man like other members of the community.
“I just don’ t understand why the DPS Commissioner made this type of stupid decision, allowing a convicted child molester to run around free on the road, while he is supposed to be locked behind bars like all other inmates,” said the concerned caller.
“This inmate deserves to be in prison. He has to serve his time behind bars, not serving it by sitting inside the DPS office every working day. The DPS commissioner needs to do something about this inmate to make sure our young children are well protected from him,” another concerned caller told Samoa News.
According to yet another caller, she went to the DPS main office in Fagatogo to follow up on a report her husband filed two months ago; and when she entered the new DPS office in the Lumana’i Building, the first person she saw was a man - who is not a police officer - sitting on the couch.
“When I entered the office, a female officer who was inside called out to the man who was sitting on the couch by the name ‘POVI’ and instructed him to do her a favor. Once I heard the name Povi, I turned around and looked at the man’ s face, and that’ s when I recognized that it was the same face I saw in the newspaper last year, the time he was sentenced for molesting a young girl,” the caller said.
The caller said she was not comfortable the whole time she was talking to the female officer that day, because the inmate was walking around the office. She believes the commissioner needs to do something to make sure this inmate stays behind bars instead of sitting inside the office, because members of the public are coming in and out of the DPS office everyday.
Another caller, an elderly woman who claims that she is the victim’s aunty, expressed her frustrations on why Povi is still walking freely when he’ s supposed to be locked up in prison.
“I just don’ t understand why this inmate can walk free ... everyday,” she said. “Every time members of our family see this child molester walking free on island, it brings anger and bad thoughts to our minds. No prisoner should be allowed to walk around free, while other prisoners are serving time. This man is an over-stayer and a convicted child molester, he must be deported back to where he came from!”