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Man receives seven year sentence in domestic violence case

 A man who was convicted by members of the jury following a three-day trial last month in a domestic violence case between the defendant and his wife was sentenced today to seven straight years in jail.

The defendant who was initially charged with rape, sexual assault, attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment, was acquitted of rape and sexual assault but found guilty of attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment.

Samoa News is withholding the name of the 45-year old defendant to protect the identity of the victim. Sentencing yesterday was handed down by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, Chief Associate Judge Logoai Siaki and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

The defendant, who represented himself, was accompanied by court appointed standby lawyer Matailupe Leupolu and prosecuting for the government was Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.

Prior to sentencing, the defendant apologized to the judges, the court employees and members of the public if during his trial he raised his voice or if he had rendered any unwelcome remarks. To his wife, the defendant said “I forgive you what you did to me and my children.”

To the government the defendant pointed out that they should look very carefully before they make any decisions. “The acts of women to women, men to men should never be committed here in the territory,” said the defendant.

Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe asked the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum allowable under the law.

She added that the defendant had said many thank yous, and many apologies and yet not once did he apologize to his wife for what he did to her. Assistant AG Philippe noted the defendant still denies that he violated any laws and still does not understand what he did to his wife was wrong.

She asked the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum allowable under the law, and issue a ‘stay away’ order.

Associate Justice Richmond pointed out that the attempted kidnapping is a class C felony punishable up to seven years in prison, while the false imprisonment is a class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail a fine of up to $1,000 or both fine and jail term.

Richmond sentenced the defendant to seven years for attempted kidnapping and one year for false imprisonment which are to be served concurrently.

In the meantime the defendant has filed a motion for new trial through his standby counsel Leupolu and a hearing into that matter has yet to be scheduled.