Boys & Girls Clubs and Sexual Abuse: Victoria Satoafaiga
The following is a summary of one of many cases across the country compiled in a Hearst Connecticut Media investigation of sexual abuse connected in some way to local affiliates of Boys & Girls Club of America, their staff, volunteers, members and/or attendees. Boys & Girls Club of America said that it does not keep a public list of sexual abuse incidents connected to clubs. If you have a story to share, or have information related to this or other incidents, contact us here.
A former director of the Boys & Girls Club of Maui is serving one year in jail after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in 2016 and 2017 at the Hawaii clubhouse.
Victoria Satoafaiga, 30, kissed and sexually penetrated the girl in March 2017, court records allege. She also sent sexually explicit text messages and photos to the girl from both her work and personal cellphones, in violation of club policy, according to a court order allowing cellphone records into evidence.
Relatives of the victim contacted police on April 17, 2017, after they saw an inappropriate text message on the girl's cellphone, police said. The victim later testified that the abuse happened at the club, where she was a member, according to Maui News.
Satoafaiga, who at one point was overseeing three different Boys & Girls Clubs, is also a member of the Army National Guard, according to court records. She resigned from her position at the club on April 27, 2017, one day after police told her she was under investigation, the records show.
About six months after police began investigating the abuse, Satoafaiga contacted the victim again and asked her to meet up near the club. She took the girl to a harbor area and a park, and the girl was found the next day at Satoafaiga's house, according to the Maui News. A criminal indictment charged Satoafaiga with trying to "take, entice, conceal or detain the child," on Oct. 27, 2017.
Satoafaiga was arrested on a bench warrant in December 2017 and was initially charged with first- and third-degree sexual assault, attempted third-degree sexual assault and second-degree custodial interference, according to the indictment. She pleaded no contest in March to second-degree custodial interference and an amended charge of fourth-degree sexual assault. Satoafaiga must pay restitution, register as a sex offender, stay away from the victim and the Boys & Girls Club and abide by all other parole requirements, according to court records.
Satoafaiga was the recipient of the Boys & Girls Club of America's Native Spirit Award in 2017, according to letters of support filed with the court exhibits. One of those letters was written by her direct supervisor at the Boys & Girls Club, who called her "the most upstanding and trustworthy individual that I know."
"Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui puts the safety and well-being of our Club members as our highest priority," said Kelly Lanilei Pearson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Maui. "We have rigorous policies and procedures in place to ensure youth are safe when they are in our care – it's our primary responsibility."
Pearson listed the club's safety procedures, such as background checks, mandated reporter training and an "action plan" that was implemented this year to cover "youth safety policies."
Satoafaiga was sentenced to 12 months in prison in January 2020 in the Second Circuit State Court of Hawaii and is serving her sentence in Maui Community Correctional Center.