Couple guilty of earning a living from prostitution

Metala and partner Sanele avoiding cameras outside court

By Unumoe Esera

APIA: Friday 3rd August 2012:  Metala James, 34 years old from Malololelei and her partner Sanele Sanele, 30 years old from Papaloloa were found guilty of four counts of knowingly living on the earnings of prostitution.

They were originally charged jointly of nine counts and five were dismissed as there was not enough evidence.  Metala was also found guilty of three counts of procuring sexual intercourse between the months of the 31st March to the 1st July 2011 which involved using two girls whose names have been suppressed to have sex with Mr. X.

Judge Mata Tuatagaloa said that both offences had a sentence of not more than three years in prison.

She also said that considering the law, both accused lived on the earnings of prostitution and knew what they were doing but yet they continued to use the girls to live off their earnings.

Metala and Sanele were remanded in custody until midday Monday next week for sentencing.

Throughout the hearing the court heard that the couple had operated a prostitution ring from their home at Malololelei. They used five young girls, and arranged for them to have sex with Chinese men at the area opposite Tanoa Tusitala Hotel and other times, foreigners who stayed at tourist accommodations.

The girls gave evidence that money between $20-$50 tala a session was payment given by the clients to Metala. One of the clients named Mr. X said he paid only to have oral sex and only had sexual intercourse with one girl. He said Metala would ring him up and tell him she had girls available. Sanele’s part in all this was transporting the girls to where they would meet their clients in his taxi.

All the names of the witnesses were suppressed by Court orders.