Justice Nelson, concerns over sex offenders repatriated to Samoa as returnees


Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson has expressed concerns over “serious sex offenders being repatriated to Samoa as returnees without any information”.

In an interview with Radio Polynesia today, Justice Nelson said this presents “danger” to the local residents and that the Sex Offender Registry should also ensure proper monitoring of such people”.

He made the comments in line with the Ministry of Police and Prisons launching of the Sex Offender Registry in Savai’i, five years after the registry Act was signed into law.

Police Corporal Falepule Tomasi during the launching said the registry is overseen by the Ministry of Police in partnership with the Attorney General’s Office.

The registry was signed into law in 2018 and to keep track of and monitor the movements of sex offenders in the Country.

Justice Nelson told Radio Polynesia in an interview today the move came about after a man came out on parole and upon his release, the sex offence occurred immediately against a seven-year-old girl and that is one of the purposes of the registry.

Adding that the registry targets rapists and repeat sex offenders.

According to the Samoa Law Reform report on the Sex Offender registry was originated from the Supreme Court.

In December 2012, a 45-year-old male was convicted and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for indecent assault of a 7-year-old female child.

The same offender was also convicted and sentenced to prison for a similar sexual offence of a 7-year-old girl.

Justice Nelson, the sitting judge in the proceeding stated the following: “It may also be such time for sex offenders in this country to register so that people may know what kind of people are around their children…it is clear that this defendant learnt nothing from the first time and the chance for re-offending is high.”

Corporal Tomasi during her speech pointed out this registry was established upon numerous calls by Justice Nelson, who saw the need to keep the women and children of Samoa safe.

She said the Criminal Investigation Division will be conducting training of Police Officers in terms of the registry.