Man who had sex with a 13-yr-old sentenced — girl claims it's love
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 21-year-old man who was convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl asked the court to send him back to Samoa so he can care for his parents while they are still alive.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse granted the defendant’s request - which was also echoed by the government's attorney - and ordered that Kose Logova’a immediately depart the territory and remain outside of its border for 10 years, the duration of his probation, upon release from detention.
Kose Logova’a, also known as Siliva Logova’a appeared in High Court last Friday for sentencing. He was represented by Public Defender Michael White, while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.
Logova’a, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $10,000 surety bond, was charged with 2 counts of rape, 2 counts of incest, 4 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, and 2 counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
However, in a plea agreement with the government, Logova’a pled guilty to 2 counts of 1st degree of sexual abuse. The remaining charges were dismissed.
According to terms of the plea agreement, Logova’a admits that on April 18 and June 22, 2018, he touched the private parts of a 13-year-old girl for the purpose of sexual gratification.
During sentencing, Logova’a apologized to the court and begged for a second chance to return to his family in Samoa to care for his parents.
“I feel I made a mistake and I am truly remorseful for what I did. I ask the court to please forgive me,” said Logova’a. When Kruse asked Logova’a what his mistake was, the defendant replied, “my crime."
“What was your crime?” Kruse asked. Logova’a replied, “I had a sexual relationship with a young girl.” Logova’a continued, “Please give me a chance to change my life and be a better person."
According to Logova’a, sleeping on the cement floor inside the Territorial Correctional Facility (CF) for over six months has taught him a good lesson - that not only is prison not a good place for him, but there is no future for him if he continues to live this type of life, which is breaking the law.
When asked for his full name, the defendant said "Kose Logova’a."
When Kruse asked where Siliva Logova’a comes from, the defendant said that's the name he used when he was attending school in Samoa, and that's the legal name that's on his birth certificate and passport.
“So where does Kose come from?” Kruse asked. Logova’a said that's the name people started calling him in 2016. That's the name he gave police when he was arrested.
White asked the court to uphold the Probation Office's recommendation for a probated sentence, to give Logova'a another chance to get his life together and allow him to go back to his family in Samoa to care for his parents and family.
White said his client is a suitable candidate for probation - and the prosecutor supported this, with the request that Logova'a be subjected to the condition in the plea agreement, that he depart the territory.
According to Kruse, the defendant entered American Samoa on a 30-day permit in Apr. 5, 2018. He was supposed to return to Samoa on May 5, 2018; however, he continued to reside in the territory illegally until he was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl he is related to.
“This defendant was initially charged with 9 counts of sexual related offenses, including 2 counts of rape, 2 counts of incest which each carry an imprisonment term of up to 15 years. However, the defendant received a huge break from the government when he pled guilty to two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, both class D felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of up to 5 years,” Kruse said.
The Chief Justice clarified that the reason why he raised the issue regarding Logova'a's full legal name, was because his Probation officers and also the immigration officers were having a hard time locating immigration files under the name Kose Logova’a, because the defendant lied to police about his full legal name.
It wasn't until immigration officers were able to identify the defendant by his face, that his immigration file was discovered and turned over to the court.
The court sentenced Logova’a to 5 years in jail for each count, and the sentence will run consecutively, which means Logova’a will serve ten years at TCF.
His imprisonment is suspended and he is placed on probation for ten years subject to several conditions, including 20 months detention at the TCF (he will be credited for time served). After serving 12 months, Logova'a is ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its border for the remainder of his 10-year probation sentence.
He has to register as a sex offender and undergo testing for HIV, as required by law.
The government claims that on June 26, 2018, a member of the victim’s family reported to police that his niece had been sexually abused.
When investigators interviewed the victim, she told them she had sexual intercourse with the defendant about ten times. The victim further said that she met Logova'a when she spent the night at the Malaeimi home of a woman who used to babysit for her grandma.
The victim told police that the first incident allegedly occurred on Apr. 18, 2018 at around 1 a.m. She said that while she was sleeping, Logova’a woke her and asked her to have sex with him.
According to the victim, she had sexual intercourse with Logova’a that morning and after the alleged incident, he gave her $5.
The victim told police that the last alleged sexual encounter they had was on Friday, June 22, 2018 at around 11:30 p.m. behind her house. According to the victim, this is the same place where the other incidents allegedly happened. She told police that she was in love with Logova’a, and Logova’a had told her on multiple occasions that he loved her.