Man finally arrested after breaking into woman’s home four times
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 29-year-old man accused of unlawfully entering a home and attempting to sexually assault a woman, after he had allegedly broken into the woman’s home four times, before he was arrested by police last month after being pulled over during a traffic stop in the Tafuna area.
Albert Soketi, who was convicted for sexual abuse over 6 years ago is charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana and one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), both unclassified felonies, along with 1st degree burglary, stealing and false imprisonment, all felonies, and one count of trespass, 3rd degree assault and private peace disturbance (PPD), all class A misdemeanors.
Soketi made his initial appearance in District Court two months ago, where his bail was set at $15,000.
If he posts bond, the court orders, among the usual restrictions, that he is not to make any attempt to contact the victim or her family in anyway, nor is he to set foot at the victim’s residence while his case is still pending in court.
On Feb. 22, 2019, in the morning, several police officers responded to a call of a possible sexual abuse and burglary case involving a woman and her house in Malaeimi. Police met up with the victim who told them her side of what allegedly happened. The victim looked scared and was shaking when police arrived at her house, according to the affidavit.
According to the victim’s statement to police, she was laying in her bed asleep when she awoke suddenly at approximately 4:00a.m to see the defendant (Soketi) standing over her naked. The victim said that she knows Soketi because he lives in the same area and he has always tried to confront her the many times they met on the road or anywhere on island.
The victim further told police that she also knows that it was Soketi because he had broken into her home on two other occasions.
The first time was on last Christmas eve, while she was sleeping in the living room and she woke up to see Soketi, in his boxer shorts, standing there. She called out to him to get out, and he asked her for money, to which she told him she had no money and she was going to call police if he didn’t leave. He then left. She smelled a strong odor of alcohol inside her house at that time.
The second time was New Year Eve, and Soketi came into her bedroom and touched her inappropriate while she was lying on the bed watching movies on her laptop. She yelled at him to get out, but he asked her for food and money. At that time, she gave him food and told him to get out of her house before she called police. Soketi complied and left her house.
The third time, according to the victim’s statement, she arrived home, left all of her shopping in the kitchen and went straight to bed that night around 10:00p.m, because she was tired and wanted to get some rest.
It was while she was sleeping, she heard someone trying to break into the house from the back door. She did not want to get up because she was very tired, however, when the noise got louder, she stood up and walked to the back portion of her house to see for herself who was making noises.
It is then that she allegedly saw Soketi standing outside of the back door with a metal pipe in his right hand, trying to open the door. She chased him away and he immediately left. The back door was fine at that time.
However, the next morning, the victim was shocked to find out that the back door was damaged and open, and all of her shopping had disappeared. The victim told police that she did not see Soketi commit the crime of stealing but she believed that he was the one who broke into her house and stole her shopping.
Two days later, the victim spoke to Soketi’s mother about the incident and the defendant’s mother immediately apologized to her (victim) for what had happened, and told the victim that she will pay back the money for her shopping. According to the victim, she spend $185.43 for her shopping.
The victim told police that Soketi’s mother gave her $120 and promised to pay the balance once her daughter got her next pay check. Again, the mother apologized to her on behalf of Soketi and told her that Soketi has run away from their family and she doesn’t know where he’s living.
The victim did not report the three alleged incidents to police as they both live in the same area and she did not want bad feelings between herself and the family.
In the fourth incident, the victim said that when she recognized Soketi standing over her, he put his hand over her mouth to stop her from yelling and held her down and at the same time threatened to kill her if she screamed for help. The victim told police that Soketi tried to touch her in a sexual manner but she was quick to push him away.
According to the victim, she was able to grab her cell phone and also get away from Soketi by pushing him away from her. She then ran outside her house and called out to her neighbors for help. Her neighbors, an elderly couple, opened their door and allowed the victim inside before she contacted police to report the incident.
The elderly couple told police they heard the woman living next door yelling out for help, and when they opened their door, they said the woman was running towards their house, so, they allowed her inside with open arms.
It was not until last month police during a traffic stop of a pickup for speeding that Soketi was arrested pursuant to an outstanding warrant on the matter. He was identified as the driver of the speeding vehicle.
Before Soketi was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning, he was searched for weapons and police discovered a glass pipe containing meth inside his pants left pocket.
Soketi, along with his vehicle, were transported to the TPS for further investigation. Police conducted an inventory search of the vehicle in the presence of the defendant, where During drug paraphernalia was discovered, along with a hand rolled marijuana joint under the driver’s seat.
Soketi was Mirandized and said he wished to make a statement to police.
According to Soketi, he was on his way back home after dropping his girlfriend at work when police pulled over his vehicle for speeding. He knew exactly what was going to happen to him when police pulled over his vehicle because not only did he have drugs in his possession, but he had also run away from his family after he committed a serious crime on his neighbor.
Police asked Soketi about the serious crime he was referring to and he responded by saying, “burglary, stealing and sex.”
Soketi told police that the drugs found in his possession and inside his vehicle belong to him. He bought it from another person in Iliili to keep him cool and happy.
When questioned about the incidents, Soketi admitted to police that he broke into the victim’s home twice two months ago, before he allegedly entered her home two weeks ago uninvited. Soketi also told police that he stole the victim’s shopping which was on the table inside the house and took it with him without permission.
Soketi was sentenced to 20 months at the TCF as a condition of his 5 years probation after being convicted by the court for 1st sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl in 2014 while he was 22 years old. He unlawfully entered the house of the victim at night, walked straight to the bedroom where the victim was sleeping and touched her inappropriate.