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Man accused of sexually abusing 13-year-old — takes a plea

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 35-year-old man who is accused of sexually abuse of a 13-year-old girl told the court in a plea agreement he is guilty.

Eti Muagututia, who is out on a $10,000 surety bond appeared in High Court last Friday for a Change of Plea hearing. He is represented by Public Defender, Michael White while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General, Woodrow Pengelly.

Muagututia was initially charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, both class D felonies, along with a class A misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.

However under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the High Court, Muagututia pled guilty to one charge of 1st degree sexual abuse.

In his guilty plea, Muagututia admits that on Apr. 7, 2018 in American Samoa, he touched the breast of a 13-year-old girl with the intent to arouse his sexual desire. Furthermore, he admits that his action on that day was without legal justification or excuse.

The government is recommending that the court sentence Muagututia to a term of probation with no further jail term.

Muagututia is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 2, 2018 for sentencing.