Ex-teacher pleads guilty to indecent assault

A teacher sacked from St. Paul VI College, following accusations of a sexual nature against him on a female student, has pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault.

Petelo Samaila Aka entered his plea through his lawyer Matafeo George Latu in the District Court this week. 

The former teacher appeared for hearing on Thursday where he subsequently vacated his not guilty plea to guilty. 

District Judge Loau Donald Kerslake presided over the matter. 

Mr. Aka was one of two teachers facing sexual charges, relating to a 16-year-old student from St. Paul VI College at Leulumoega in April last year. 

He is remanded on bail pending his next appearance for a pre-sentence report on 24 May 2021. 

The second co-defendant and former teacher from the school, Paulo Ieremia is facing more serious charges in the Supreme Court where he is accused of allegedly raping the student. 

The hearing for Mr. Ieremia that was called earlier this month was declared a mistrial by Justice Niava Mata Tuatagaloa. 

Prosecution had asked to reconsider the charge of rape against the accused. 

Mr. Ieremia entered a not guilty plea to the sex-related charges against him. 

The alleged offending occurred in April 2020 when schools were closed due to State of Emergency lockdown.

Although the schools were temporarily closed at the time the students were still required to submit their internal assignments. 

It is alleged that the 16-year-old had asked Mr. Ieremia to help her out with her biology subject assignment. 

The sacked teacher allegedly agreed to help her, meeting up with the student in front of a shop at Leulumoega in April. 

Mr. Ieremia is alleged to have asked the student to accompany him to another tutorial for another student; after which the defendant and the 16-year-old student were allegedly transported to a secluded house in Leulumoega. 

The 16-year-old complainant alleged that the defendant had forced himself on to her. 

She also alleges that the second teacher, Mr. Aka arrived shortly after and indecently assaulted her. 

The alleged incident was eventually brought to the School Principal’s attention, resulting in the termination of services of the two teachers while the matter was referred to Police for investigation. 

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