Man who attempted to touch a 12-year-old girl sexually is released

The 24 months spent in pretrial confinement credited towards sentence
ausage@samoanews.com

A 42-year-old man who was convicted by the High Court for attempted felonious restraint is ordered to serve 20 months behind bars, as part of a 5-year probation sentence.

Isaia Osa was initially charged with attempted rape, first degree sexual abuse, and attempted felonious restraint — all felonies. However, under a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to to attempted felonious restraint, and the remaining charges were dismissed.

According to the government, the victim is a 12-year-old girl whose family rents the same apartment where the defendant and his family live. The victim and the defendant’s family share the same bathroom and kitchen.

 Sometime in the beginning of 2015 when the victim went to the bathroom, the defendant followed her and tried to touch her in a sexual manner. He also attempted to restrain her in an unlawful way, in order for him to have his way.

During sentencing, Osa apologized to the Court for his actions and begged for a second chance to return home to care for his family. He told the Court that he is truly remorseful for what he did, and he assured the judge that he will never break any laws again, adding that if he is given another chance, he will do everything he can to change his life and look for a job, so he can pay restitution.

Defense attorney, Michael White told the Court that he believes his client is truly remorseful and added that everyone is affected by his client's action, not only the victim and her family, but his family as well. He asked the court to sentence Osa to a probated sentence, and use the 24 months he has already served in pretrial confinement as his sentence in this case.

Prosecutor Christy Dunn agreed with White, saying Osa is a suitable candidate for probation; however, she reminded the court about the seriousness of the defendant’s actions.

Dunn said the victim was lucky that nothing more serious happened that day. She reminded the court that Osa must be ordered to stay away from the victim and not try to contact her or her family at any time.

Acting Associate Justice Elvis Patea said that upon review of the recommendations from both attorneys, the statement from the defendant, and also the report from the Probation Office, the court feels that Osa is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence.

Patea told Osa that the court will never take lightly any cases that involve minor children, especially when they are sexually assaulted. He noted that although this was Osa’s first conviction in the High Court, he has a criminal record in the District Court, of convictions on misdemeanor charges.

Osa was sentenced to five years in jail; however, execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant is placed on five years probation on the condition that he serves 20 months at the TCF. He was credited for the 24 months he has already served while awaiting sentencing, so he was released last week.

 He was ordered to register as a sex offender and submit himself to an HIV test, as required by law. He is not to make any contact with the victim and her family, nor is he to confront her at any time or place. He is also not to congregate with children under 12 years old.

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