24 Dec 2018

American Samoa governor's chief of staff gets suspended sentence

12:23 pm on 24 December 2018
High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

The Chief of Staff for the Governor of American Samoa has received a suspended sentence for third degree assault.

During Fiu Johnny Saelua's hearing his lawyer said his client was truly remorseful, asking that the court consider his service to his family, church and government.

According to the lawyer, other than a prior charge of public peace disturbance, his client had a clean record.

The minimum sentence of no jail time was requested.

The court ruled it suitable to place Fiu on probation for six months with conditions.

Conditions include checking in regularly with a probation officer and paying a $US100 fine.

If Fiu violates his probation he will serve a 10 day jail term.

The case against Fiu stems from allegations by a young woman who lived with his family, that he sexually abused and assaulted her.

The court dismissed the original charge of first degree sexual abuse after the Prosecutor said they had no witnesses to call.

A subsequent plea agreement reduced the remaining charge of second degree sexual abuse to third degree assault.