7 Mar 2017

Sexual offender seeks probation after 'church calling'

8:08 am on 7 March 2017

The High Court of American Samoa has denied a request by a man accused of raping a 16-year old for a probative sentencing so he could proceed with his new calling to be a church minister.

Antele'a Segi was charged last May with rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse first degree - all felonies.

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

But under a plea agreement, the defendant pled guilty to the sexual abuse charge, a class D felony punishable with up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $US5,000.

While in custody, Segi told the court that he has reached a decision to be a church minister and sought to be released on probation to carry out his new calling.

His defense sought a probative sentence but the prosecutor argued for the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum term, as outlined in the law, because the defendant had raped the victim twice on the same day.

Acting Associate Justice Elvis Patea said that based on the defendant's statement in court, Segi was not remorseful and therefore the 5-year jail term was appropriate.