Former cop Okesene Alo pleads guilty to deviate sexual assault
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the four DPS officers accused of illegal activities and misconduct at the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) told the court yesterday that the allegations against him are true.
Okesene Alo, who is charged in two separate cases, appeared in High Court yesterday morning for a change of plea hearing for his second criminal case.
In the first case, Alo was convicted by a jury earlier this year in June of four felonies, including unlawful possession of methamphetamine; unlawful possession of marijuana; and two counts of permitting a minor to escape - all felonies - along with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
He is represented by private attorney, Richard deSaulles of RDA Law Firm, while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General, Christy Dunn.
Alo, who remains in custody under a $200,000 bond, was initially charged with one count of rape, a class B felony; one count of deviate sexual assault, a class C felony; and one count of 1st degree sexual abuse, a class D felony.
However, under a plea agreement with the government, Alo pled guilty to deviate sexual assault. The remaining charges are dismissed.
With his guilty plea, Alo admits that on May 21, 2016 while working as a police officer at the JDC, he performed sexual activities with a female detainee who was under 16 years old at the time — victim #4 in the case — by inserting his finger into her private parts.
Alo’s jury trial for this case was scheduled for Monday next week; however, that is now cancelled as Alo has agreed to take the government’s offer and forego a jury trial.
For the first case, for which he was convicted in June, Alo was scheduled to appear in court tomorrow morning for sentencing. However, the court has granted a joint verbal motion from both parties to postpone tomorrow's sentencing, so Alo can be sentenced for both cases.
Sentencing is now set for November 2nd.
During a preliminary examination (PX) last May, the government accused Alo of having sexual contact with 4 female detainees at the JDC.
As previously reported by Samoa News, Alo was initially charged with 35 counts in connection with alleged illegal activities he was involved in at the JDC between April and November 2017.
Of the total counts, 28 were felonies including 12 counts related to sexual acts against two female minors. But the 12 counts, including several counts of rape, were later dismissed in District Court due to lack of evidence.
In the beginning of May 2017, the government moved to refile the case against Alo.
The lead detective testified that two female juveniles were in JDC custody between May and August 2017 — one was 14 years old and the other was 15 years old. Both victims were housed in the same room and each of their statements about sexual contact with Alo supported each other's.
The three charges against Alo are in connection with Victim #4, while charges relating to Victim #1 were dismissed by the court, due to the lack of probable cause.
An investigator interviewed Victim #1 but the government wasn’t able to provide proof of the dates and times that Alo allegedly had sexual contact with her.