Prisoner changes his plea

Notorious prisoner escapee, Lauititi Tualima, has changed his plea to charges stemming from an incident where he is accused of raping a tourist.

Before Justice Lesatele Rapi Vaai yesterday, Tualima pleaded guilty.

Lawyer, Leone Su’a appeared for the National Prosecution Office. The defendant did not have legal representation.

The matter was adjourned from Monday to allow the accused man to engage a legal counsel.

However, when the Court resumed yesterday, Justice Lesatele was told that the accused did not want to engage a lawyer. 

Asked if his plea of not guilty remained, Tualima said no. He then pleaded guilty to all the charges against him.

Tualima faces three counts of rape, one count of burglary, being armed with a dangerous weapon, threatening words and aggravated robbery. 

Sentencing has been scheduled for 22 July 2016. 

The incident occurred on 24 September 2015 when Angie Jackson and her partner Tommy Williams were in Samoa for a vacation. The couple stayed at the Lupe Sina Treesort where they were attacked by the defendant when they were getting ready to take a taxi to the airport. 

It is alleged that the defendant tied up the pair before he proceeded to rape Ms. Jackson in front of her partner. Ms. Jackson said they were forced to beg for their lives before the man fled with their belongings. 

Ms. Jackson had been fundraising so she could give evidence during the trial. Attempts to get a comment from the National Prosecution Office as to why Ms. Jackson did not come were not successful.

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