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Press Release

Anchorage Woman Sentenced to 18 months for Assaulting Child

November 7, 2014

On November 6, 2014, 40 year old Cindy Atofau was sentenced to prison for assaulting a five year old boy in January 2014. The child and his family had been living with Atofau for several months at her Anchorage home. The assault was reported to Anchorage Police by the child's mother after she arrived home and noticed her child had difficulty sitting down.

The child was initially admitted to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of his injuries and then taken to Alaska Cares. Alaska Cares is a multi-disciplinary center that coordinates the efforts of the Office of Children's Services, law enforcement agencies, and pediatric medical team. The investigation revealed that the child suffered injuries to his lower back, buttocks, and upper thighs. The child also suffered a fractured foot. He had injuries to his hands, his ears, and bruising on his face. The investigation also revealed that Atofau caused the injuries by using a pool cue and a back scratcher.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Phillip Volland sentenced Atofau following her guilty plea to assault in the third degree, a class C felony. Atofau faced a sentence of up to five years in prison with a presumptive term of zero to two years. Judge Volland sentenced Atofau to spend 18 months in prison and imposed an additional 18 months of imprisonment, which he suspended. He also placed Atofau on felony probation for three years. Judge Volland found that Atofau's crime was a crime of domestic violence and found that the child was a vulnerable victim.

In explaining his sentence, the judge told Atofau that she had a position of "absolute dominance" over the child. The judge commented that the child's injuries reflected a "degree of heartlessness." Atofau told the judge that she accepted "full responsibility for her actions" and that this conduct "was not reflective of the type of person she is." She apologized to the court, the victim, and his family.

CONTACT: Deputy District Attorney Paul Miovas @ (907) 269-6300 or paul.miovas@alaska.gov at the Anchorage District Attorney’s Office.

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