Court Report


A 28-year- old man who pled guilty to sexual abuse first degree was sentenced to 20 months in jail. Tusitala Afaese pleaded with the court for another chance to return home, also another chance to become a productive member of society given that he’s remorseful over his actions.
The defendant was initially charged with rape, sodomy, deviate sexual assault, first degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. In a plea deal with the government, Afaese entered a guilty plea to sexual abuse while the remaining charges were dismissed.
The sexual abuse count is a class D felony punishable by up to five years in jail. Richmond sentenced the defendant to five years in jail, however execution of sentencing was suspended and defendant has been placed on five years probation on the condition that he serves 20 months in jail.
According to the government’s case, the incident came to light when the girl’s father asked the police for assistance in the 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.
Two women accused of assaulting another woman at a night club last week have each been charged with first degree assault. Shary Mua and her friend Etevise Tomai, are each being held on bail of $20,000 and are represented by the Public Defender’s office.
The defendants were arraigned in the High Court yesterday where they both entered not guilty pleas to the felony assault count. Pre-trial conference in this matter has been scheduled for next month.
According to the government’s case, when police arrived at the scene, Mua and Tomai were in a vehicle about to leave the scene.
One of the witnesses told police the defendants appeared to be trying to cause trouble with the victim. And after deliberately bumping the victim, an argument then ensued, which lead to defendants throwing glasses at the victim’s face.
The victim suffered five deep cuts on the left side of her face, which required 17 stitches and she also sustained a fractured nose. Prosecuting this case is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.
Ekelagi Ofagalilo of Sogi, Leone who pleaded guilty to third degree assault was sentenced to 14 days in jail at the Tafuna Correctional Facility. Initially the 30-year-old woman was facing charges of attempted deviate sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
However, in the plea agreement with the government Ofagalilo pled guilty to the amended charge of third degree assault while the remaining charges were dismissed. According to the government’s case, the criminal complaint was launched on allegations that Ofagalilo had touched a 13-year-old boy inappropriately. 
Ofagalilo is represented by Acting Public Defender Douglas Fiaui while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale.
“I apologize for what happened, please give me a chance,” were the only words uttered by Ofagalilo during her sentencing.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced the defendant to 14 days in jail and ordered her to pay a fine of $500. According to the government’s case the incident came to light when the mother of the victim filed a complaint after she was told Ofagalilo had allegedly attempted to touch her son’s private parts and also pulled down his shorts and grabbed his buttocks while swimming in the ocean.


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