Wednesday, March 20, 2013 |
3 years ago
Vili Ava was born in American Samoa in 1956, grew up in Hawaii, moved to Orange County with his parents in 1974, got married, got divorced, remarried, had six kids who've made him a grandfather and went to prison on federal bank fraud charges.
But to the state of California Ava's got one overarching profile: child molester.
In October 2000, Ava jumped into bed with a 13-year-old nephew, kissed him and reached inside the boy's underwear to massage his penis.
Ava told investigating Santa Ana police officers that there was a terrible misunderstanding.
He'd only blown an innocent kiss at the kid--or maybe he'd made contact, but it was brief and playful, he said.
He also explained that he'd reached inside the boy's pants only to retrieve $235 stolen from him and hidden by the boy next to his private parts.
Ava added that, though a practicing Mormon, he'd had a few alcoholic drinks before the incident and insisted he was heterosexual.
On Oct. 18, 2002, a jury sided with a prosecutor inside the Orange County District Attorney's office and found him guilty of committing a lewd or lascivious act on a minor.
Two months later a superior court judge sentenced Ava to a serve a three-year prison term and ordered him to stay away from children, abstain from alcohol consumption and register as a sex offender.
He found it difficult to stay out of trouble and was twice sent back to prison for violating parole, according to court records.
Last October--on the eve of the 12th anniversary of the nephew's molestation, Ava decided to file a wrongful arrest claim against the Santa Ana Police Department; he wants $6 million in damages or $10 million if he has to take his complaints to trial.
Among his long and rambling claims: The police and his defense lawyer tricked him, and he says the verdict should be invalidated because there were "no Black and no Samoan" jurors in his case.
A federal magistrate inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse studied the complaint, noted that Ava's claims "are difficult to decipher" and concluded that the merits couldn't even be considered because the statute of limitations had expired more than six years earlier.
This month, U.S. District Court Judge Jesus G. Bernal accepted those findings and closed the case.
Upshot: Santa Ana's Ava (a.k.a Vili Lafoia Ava) must continue to register his whereabouts as a sex offender.
(OCWeekly.com's "Citizen of the Week!" periodically highlights the depths of human depravity in Orange County, California.)
for previous "Citizen of the Week!" losers.