WOMAN ACCUSED OF INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Ekelagi Ofagalilo of Sogi has entered a guilty plea to third degree assault, which was amended from attempted deviate sexual assault on allegations that she tried to grab a boy's privates. Ofagalilo 30, was initially charged with attempted deviate sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, but she settled with the plea.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing on June 20, 2013. According to the government’s case, the criminal complaint was launched on allegations that Ofagalilo allegedly touched a 13-year-old boy inappropriately.
Ofagalilo is out on bail of $5,000 and is represented by Acting Public Defender Leslie Cardin while prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.
The incident came to light when the mother of the victim filed a complaint after she was told that Ofagalilo had allegedly attempted to touch her son’s private parts and also pulled down his shorts and grabbed his buttocks. Police spoke to the 13-year-old who said the incident occurred when they went swimming. Police spoke to the 30-year-old woman who admitted that she jumped on his back, but said that was because they were playing rugby.
JESS POGIA SENTENCED TO TIME SERVED
A man in his 20’s who pleaded guilty to a single count of stealing in connection with a burglary case was sentenced to 300 hours of community service as part of his five years probation. Pogia was initially facing two charges of second degree burglary and two counts of stealing, but in a plea deal with the government he pled guilty to the stealing count while the remaining charges were dismissed.
The defendant was sentenced to five years in jail, however execution of sentence was suspended and he’s placed on probation for a period of five years under certain conditions. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced the defendant to time served, and also ordered that he undergo 300 hours of community service and pay $200. Samoa News understands the defendant was accompanied by two other men who have yet to be charged and prosecuted in this same matter.
According to the government’s case, a man reported to police that on August 9, 2012 his residence was broken into, where his piggy bank containing $200, a pair of slippers, several baseball caps, miscellaneous items and a 22 rifle were stolen. It’s alleged a witness informed police that he saw Pogia remove items from the residence in question. Court filings say the defendant was seen with a DVD player, two bottles of wine, a piggy bank, a diamond watch and a gold chain.
At the residence where Pogia was staying, police confiscated a DVD player and this item was identified by the victim as his property. The defendant admitted to police that he had broken into the victim’s residence twice and gained entrance through a hole in the wall and taken the items.
Pogia told police that he used the money from the piggy bank to buy food and sold the rifle for $130. A majority of the items removed were returned to the owner.
MAN FACING MULTIPLE SEX CHARGES
A 28-year-old man who had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Tusitala Afaese also known as Faaofo was charged with rape, sodomy, deviate sexual assault, first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, but he has agreed to enter a guilty plea to deviate sexual assault, sexual assault first degree and endangering the welfare of a minor, while the rape and sodomy counts were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for the defendant on June 27, 2013. The deviate sexual assault is a class C felony which carries a jail term of up to seven years in jail, and the sexual abuse count is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail while the endangerment count is a misdemeanor, punishable up to one year in prison, and a fine of up to $1,000.
According to the government’s case, the incident came to light when the girl’s father asked the police for assistance to search of his daughter who had run away from home. The case was assigned to police officer Kimberly Mau.
The victim told police she met the defendant through a friend and had known him for a week; she alleged they had sex on four separate occasions, once on Feb. 15, 2013 and three times the next day. The defendant told police that the girl called him and they met behind a church in Tafuna, according to court filings.
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