19 Oct 2015

Jail term for American Samoa teacher for assault

2:45 pm on 19 October 2015

A high school music teacher has been jailed for seven years in American Samoa for sex with a minor.

The High Court handed down the maximum sentence for Lose Auva'a who pleaded guilty to first degree sexual assault.

The defendant admitted that between February and April of 2014 he engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student.

Prosecutor Robert Pickett said that while the defendant had glowing reports of his service as a choir director for his church he also had a dark side.

Auva'a's attorney, Marcellus Uiagalelei, said his client was truly remorseful and asked that the court consider his community service in sentencing.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse said the defendant was in a position of influence supervising children and used it to engage in an inappropriate relationship with the victim and taking advantage of the girl's immaturity and vulnerability.

He said the court felt that if a third party had not reported the matter to police the relationship would have continued.

American Samoa

American Samoa Photo: RNZI