Middle aged man convicted of sexual abuse of 16-year-old girl
A man in his 40s who forcibly took a 16-year-old girl into a bathroom against her will, was ordered to leave the territory upon serving his 12-month jail sentence, as part of his five years probation.
Misi Faiaga of Tafuna, was facing charges of first-degree sexual abuse, false imprisonment and child endangerment. However, in a plea deal offered by the government, the defendant pled guilty to first degree sexual abuse, and with his plea, the government moved for the court to dismiss the remaining charges in the matter.
Faiaga is represented by Assistant Public Defender, Joel Shiver while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.
According to the government’s case, the victim informed police that while she was walking home the defendant called out to her and they spoke briefly. The defendant then grabbed the girl, took her into a bathroom and allegedly forced a kiss on her and touched her inappropriately. Court filings say that as soon as the defendant pulled down his pants, the 16-year-old girl took off running.
The defendant during sentencing apologized for his actions and asked the court for a second chance to return home to care for his wife and children, and if he could not do that, then to allow him to return to Samoa to look after his parents.
Faiaga further apologized to the victim in this matter and asked her and her family for forgiveness.
The defendant informed the court he did not plan to commit such a crime and again said he was sorry for what happened. His sister took the stand and pleaded with the court to allow the defendant to serve his time in Samoa, so at the same time, he can take care of their parents.
Faiaga’s wife also appeared in court and asked the court to release her husband so they can work on bettering their family that was broken due to the incident. The wife told the court that if the court would allow the defendant to serve his time in Samoa, then she, along with their eight-year-old son are ready to travel to Samoa with the defendant.
Assistant Public Defender Joel Shiver asked the court to consider probation for Faiaga, so he can be reunited with his wife who’s pregnant and is due to give birth next month.
Shiver said, that in the several meetings he’s had with the defendant, the defendant indicated that he’s fully remorseful for his action and he’s ready for better changes in his life.
The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf, however asked the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum allowable under the law due to the severity of what occurred in this case.
Graf said if the young girl had not run when the defendant removed his pants, this matter would have been much worse.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced Faiaga to five years in jail, however the execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for a period of five years under the conditions that he first serve 12 months in jail. Upon completion of the year in jail, the defendant must leave the territory and remain outside the territory for a period of five years. The defendant was also warned that he cannot attempt to enter the territory during his five-year probation.