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Man pleads guilty for repeatedly assaulting juvenile

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 36-year-old man accused of using a sharp weapon to assault a 16-year-old has pled guilty to second degree assault.

Fa’avaeoletalalelei Afitu was initially charged with felony first degree assault, punishable by life in prison or at least 30 years in jail; but under a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to a lesser charge — second degree assault — still a felony, punishable by not more than 5 years imprisonment, or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.

With his guilty plea, Afitu admits that sometime on Mar. 14, 2018 he caused serious injuries to a juvenile, by using a piece of sharp metal to hit him on the head several times.

Afitu remains in custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) unable to post a $15,000 surety bond.

 He is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 30, 2019.

The government claims that the charges against Afitu stem from an incident that occurred two days prior to the assault, when the victim assaulted Afitu’s niece by punching her in the face multiple times, resulting in injuries to the girl's facial area.

Afitu was not aware of the incident until the next morning, when his son told him that C.A. (Afitu’s niece) did not attend school because her left eye was swollen, she couldn't see anything.

After hearing this, Afitu walked to the other side of the village in search of the man alleged to have been responsible.

As soon as Afitu located the victim, he struck him multiple times in the head with a sharp piece of metal, causing severe injuries to the victim’s head.

Public Defender Michael White represents the defendant while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell.