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Man convicted of sex abuse ordered to leave the territory after probation revocation hearing

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Samoa with three different names has been ordered by the High Court to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the duration of his 5-year probation.

Latu Lopa appeared in Court last week for his Dispositional Hearing for violating a condition of his 2017 probation, in the beginning of this year when he tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana. 

His probation was set to expire before the end of this year when he was arrested.

When given the chance to address the court, the defendant apologized for his action and begged for another chance to return home to be with his family. He also apologized to the court for violating conditions of his probation. He said the 2 months he spent in jail taught him a good lesson — that he needs to comply with court orders.

Lopa’s defense attorney asked the court not to revoke his client’s probation but give him another chance to change his life. He said Lapa is a 25-year-old young man who has a bright future if he chooses the right path in life.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Prosecutor told the court that based on the information from the Pre Sentence Report (PSR), it appears that the defendant failed to comply with conditions of his 2017 probation. Not only did he not register as a sex offender but he also failed to be a law abiding individual.

For those reasons, the government’s attorney asked the court to revoke the defendant’s probation.

After reviewing submissions from both parties and the statement by the defendant, the court decided not to revoke probation but add another condition, which is, upon release from detention, he shall depart the territory and remain outside of its border for the remaining of his 5-year probation.

After its decision, the court ordered that a copy of the Judgement and Sentence be served upon the Chief Immigration Officer to make sure the defendants name will be on the lookout list.


Lopa, who was 20 years old at the time, was sentenced to 20 months detention as a condition of his 5-year probation after being convicted of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl.

For the guilty plea, the defendant admitted that he allegedly twice had sexual acts with the victim.

Besides the jail time, the defendant was also ordered to register as a sex offender and take a HIV test.

Court records show that Lopa’s Immigration ID - a “P5” - expired Oct. 20, 2020 and the court told the government’s attorney at the time that a copy of the court’s decision and ruling on this case be provided to the Attorney General and Immigration Office, so they would be aware of Lopa’s current immigration status, which had expired and to take the necessary steps to address this issue.

At the time, the court didn’t order the defendant to be deported to his home country of Samoa after serving the required jail term, and as such there was a still a chance for the defendant to renew his expired immigration ID, and through a court order gave the defendant’s sponsor 90 days to comply with local immigration laws, by renewing Lopa’s immigration ID.