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Sentencing continued for repeat offender in child endangerment case

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Sentencing for Iosua Aleki is continued to May 14, to allow attorneys and probation officers time to research further, the defendant’s previous cases.

Aleki, who has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 12, 2019 appeared before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea for sentencing; however, due to his history in the court system, Patea has continued the matter for another three weeks.

Aleki was initially charged with 7 misdemeanors; however, under a plea agreement with the government, Aleki pled guilty to public peace disturbance (PPD) and endangering the welfare of a child. In return, the government agreed to dismiss the five remaining charges, which include 2 counts of third degree assault; endangering the welfare of a child; trespass, and resisting arrest.

The government claims that on Feb. 12th in Nuuuli, while intoxicated, Aleki acted out and threatened to harm a child from another family within the village. Aleki was arrested on the day of the alleged incident.

Defense attorney Ryan Anderson asked the court for 18 months probation with the condition that Aleki attend and complete alcohol and drug counseling. Prosecutor Jason Mitchell echoed the defense attorney’s recommendation.

However, Patea did not agree. He told both attorneys that Aleki was on probation when he was picked up on Feb. 12th, and this shows that Aleki doesn’t respect what the court ordered him to do when he was placed on 12-months probation.

“This is not the first time this defendant has appeared in court. He was convicted of public peace disturbance pursuant to a plea agreement, and two counts of DUI were dismissed. He was sentenced to 12 months probation in October of last year. A few months later, he re-offended, and now, you’re asking the court for 18 months probation?” Patea asked. He then continued sentencing to May 14th.