Second defendant in Satala sex case charged
The Attorney General’s office has charged Lusia Tusi aka 'Sheila', a co-defendant in the prostitution case which also implicates the owner of the Karaoke bar in Satala, Fa’asaina Park.
She’s facing charges of Promoting Prostitution second degree, a class C felony punishable with up to seven years in jail, a fine up to $5,000 or both, and two counts of third degree assault, which are both class A misdemeanors carrying a jail term of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 for each count.
(Park is also facing the same charges and her case is pending in the High Court.)
Assistant Public Defender Matthew Trick represents Tusi, who made her initial appearance in the District Court yesterday with her bail set at $15,000.
Assistant AG Julie Pasquale is prosecuting for the government, while the lead investigator in the case is Police officer Maria Penetusi of the Tafuna West Substation.
According to the government, police received a call from the Airport Security guards that two women, M.W and I.M were seeking assistance from them “and they are scared to leave the (security) office”.
Police arrived at the airport and spoke with the girls, who claimed they were assaulted by their sponsor Park inside the Karaoke bar in Satala, claiming the defendant Tusi held down one of the victims by her wrist while Park assaulted the victim.
M.W told police that Tusi slapped her and dragged her by the hair and repeatedly punched her on the back. Police observed bruises on M.W’s back and she was taken to the hospital for medical treatment.
Court filings say police spoke with “I.M” the first victim who told them that she saw eight girls also working at the same bar, when she worked there from October 2012 through 2013 and their job description was to work as waitresses as described by Park. “But aside from being a waitress, they were also specifically told to sit with customers, especially fishermen from fishing boats, in attempts to get them to spend all their money.”
According to the government’s case, “I.M and W.M stated that if Park was not inside the bar when one of the male customers wanted to take a girl out for a sexual act, the customer would obtain permission from Tusi, say court documents.
Court filings also note that both I.M and W.M told police that none of the female workers were allowed to go with the customers without the permission of either Park or Tusi.
I.M told police that she had sex with several fishermen since she began working for Park and on one occasion she was told by Tusi to have sex with one of the male customers and she refused. Tusi told her “I am second in command, you must listen to me.”
M.W also informed police that other female employees would ask permission from Park or Tusi to leave the bar with male customers on multiple occasions. “M.W informs me (police) that she, herself asked permission to engage in sexual acts with male customers from the bar on three occasions because she needed money according to the court document.
“M.W. informed me (police) that Park never paid her as a waitress at any time and the only way Park would allow her to earn money or obtain money was by going out with the men from the bar” and she had to ask for permission from Park or Tusi on these occasions.
Court filings say that Tusi kept Park “informed of any updates related to the sexual activity between the male customers and the female workers.”
M.W also told police that Tusi and Park provided the female workers with condoms “for use with the male customers.”
Both M.W and I.M informed the police "that Park gave the girls detailed instructions on how to perform sexual acts… including sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex in ways that would most please the male customers and keep them coming back to the bar,” say court filings.
The victims also informed police they were “instructed” not to perform any sexual acts with the male customers inside the bar “if Samoan people were around" and that they "should only participate in sexual activities inside or outside of the bar with non-Samoans,” say the court filings.