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Man from Samoa originally charged with sex abuse convicted of assaulting his neighbor

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old man from Samoa who sexually assaulted his 35-year-old neighbor has entered into a plea agreement with the government, and he will be sentenced next month.

Michael Ioane, who has a criminal record in District Court for crimes involving alcohol, was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse, a class D felony; and two misdemeanors: trespass and third degree assault.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Ioane — who has been held on $10,000 bail since his arrest on Dec. 09, 2019 — pled guilty to first-degree sexual assault. The remaining charges were dismissed.

With his guilty plea, Ioane admits that he entered the victim’s house without permission on the night in question, and found her sleeping on the couch in the living room, and inappropriately touched her, causing the victim to awake, as the defendant was on top of her. She pushed Ioane away and swore at him, telling him to get out.

The victim locked the house after Ioane left and called police for assistance.

The victim, a single mother of three, told police that on the night of the incident, Ioane was invited by her family members to her daughter’s birthday party, which was held at her brother’s home — next door.

At around 2:42 a.m, the victim went to her house to get something to eat. She fell asleep on the couch and was awoken because Ioane was on top of her, touching her in a sexual manner.

The victim said that before Ioane left her house, he apologized to her and asked her not to call the cops. Ioane was arrested that same day.

According to the victim, this is not the first time Ioane has done this to her. During one family gathering a few months prior, Ioane, who was invited over by her brother, touched her breast.

Ioane is scheduled to appear in Court on Apr. 22, 2021 for sentencing.