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Court rules that man must register as sex offender

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The man who spent 8 months in jail before pleading guilty to touching a woman’s private parts in a sexual manner is a free man now.

Vincent Malaesaili was released from the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) last week, following his sentencing by the court.

Malaesaili was initially charged with attempted rape and 1st degree sexual abuse, both class C felonies, punishable by a jail term of not more than 7 years, a fine of $5,000, or both.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Malaesaili pled guilty to the amended charge of attempted sexual abuse in the 2nd degree, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

With his guilty plea, Malaesaili admits that on Aug. 7, 2019 he touched a woman's private part, without her consent, to arouse and gratify his sexual desires.

During sentencing, the defendant’s attorney asked the court for a probated sentence, saying that his client has served almost 10 months in prison.

Despite the request from the government’s attorney, the government’s attorney asked for Malaesaili to register as a sex offender as a condition of his probation, Defense attorney told the court that his client should not be ordered to register as a sex offender since he was convicted of a misdemeanor — the victim was not a minor child.

The court did not agree. The court told the defense attorney that the statute is clear, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, once a person is convicted for any sexual violation he or she has to register as a sex offender.

“Your client has to register as a sex offender,” the court told the defense attorney.

Malaesaili was sentenced to a term of probation of one year. As a condition of his probated sentence, he was ordered to serve a period of detention of 6 months, he was credited for the 8 months he served while detained in prison to await the outcome of his case.

Malaesaili was ordered to register as a sex offender, and he has to remain abiding law throughout the period of probation.