Ex-deacon found guilty of sexual offences

A former deacon of the Catholic Church has been found guilty of sexual connection with a young female churchgoer in 2017.

Justice Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma delivered the verdict against the accused Felise Samoa on Friday.

Samoa, who denied the charges, was found guilty of three sexual charges: two counts of sexual connection with a young person and one count of attempted sexual violation.

The former deacon that served the Malololelei and Falefa Catholic parish was represented by lawyer Lefau Harry Schuster.

Attorney General’s Office lawyer Lucy Sio Ofoia was the prosecutor.

He has been remanded in custody pending his sentencing on 2 October 2020.

The head of the Catholic Church in Samoa, Archbishop Alapati Lui Mataeliga, testified in the hearing of the former deacon.

Archbishop Mataeliga told the court that Samoa had admitted to the sexual offences during a meeting in February 2017.

The accused was later sacked by the church, stripping him of his position as a deacon. The name of the alleged victim has been suppressed by the court.

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