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Oral Argument Before the Hawaii Supreme Court–SCWC-20-0000067

No. SCWC-20-0000067, Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 2  p.m.

STATE OF HAWAIʻI, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. VICTORIA I. SATOAFAIGA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

The above-captioned case has been set for argument on the merits at:

The oral argument was remotely and live streamed for public viewing via the Judiciary’s YouTube channel at

Attorney for Petitioner:

Hayden Aluli

Attorney for

Richard B. Rost, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

NOTE: Order accepting Application for Writ of Certiorari, filed 08/11/21.

COURT: Recktenwald, C.J., Nakayama, McKenna, Wilson, and Eddins, JJ.

[  Listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format  ]

Brief Description:

In December 2017, a grand jury indicted Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Victoria I. Satoafaiga (Satoafaiga) on four counts, including Sexual Assault in the First Degree in violation of Hawaiʻi Revised Statute (HRS) § 707-730(1)(b) (Count Two) and Custodial Interference in the Second Degree in violation of HRS § 707- 727(1)(a) (Count Four). Pursuant to a plea agreement with the State, Satoafaiga pleaded no contest in Count Two, which was amended to Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree in violation of HRS § 707-733(1)(a), and Count Four. She then moved for a deferred acceptance of her no contest (DANC) plea pursuant to HRS § 853-1; the State opposed the motion. After considering arguments by the parties and Satoafaiga’s pre-sentence investigation and report, the Circuit Court of the Second Circuit (circuit court) denied Satoafaiga’s motion for a DANC plea, finding that Satoafaiga was “likely again to engage in a criminal course of conduct” and that the “ends of justice and the welfare of society . . . require[d] that [Satoafaiga] presently suffer the penalty imposed by law,” the factors set forth in HRS § 853-1(a)(2)-(3). The Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) affirmed. On certiorari, Satoafaiga asks whether the ICA gravely erred in affirming the circuit court’s denial of her motion for a DANC plea. Satoafaiga contends that in denying her motion, the circuit court inappropriately considered certain information, such as uncharged conduct, and failed to consider all of the mitigating factors.