Sosefina Amoa, a Samoan woman studying to be a nun with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington D.C., admitted to smothering and killing her newborn son right inside the convent.
26-year-old Amoa, who was born in Samoa and traveled to the United States to pursue a divine calling, did not realize she was pregnant until she gave birth to a baby boy in her quarters at the Washington convent.
According to WJLA, Amoa was overcome with panic when she gave birth to her son, causing her to smother the baby boy with a wool garment. She has been sentenced to four years in prison for killing her child.
During Amoa’s trial, prosecutor Cynthia Wright positively mentioned the Samoan native’s “generosity of spirit,” manifested by her desire to help others by becoming a nun. However, Wright put more emphasis on the terrible acts Amoa committed. The prosecutor criticized Amoa’s initial decision to lie to authorities regarding the real circumstances of her child’s death, telling them that she found the baby dead outside the convent.
The Daily Mail revealed statements from the prosecution, including a segment where Wright raised a picture of an infant as she asked the whole court to remain silent for two minutes – the length of time Amoa smothered her child.
Amoa’s lawyer, Judith Pipe, expressed dismay over Wright’s request, calling the activity “theatrics.” However, the judge allowed Wright to ask the court to participate.
Pipe countered Wright’s arguments by saying that the death of the baby boy was not intentional, noting that Amoa experienced shock and panic when she gave birth to the baby. According to Pipe, Amoa wouldn’t have come to the United States and study with the convent if she knew she was pregnant.
Pipe added that Sosefina Amoa loved children, and that she never intended to smother the baby to death. According to Pipe, Amoa was only covering the baby’s mouth to silence him while she figured out what to do. Amoa’s lawyer requested the court to have the trainee nun deported to Samoa, instead of receiving jail time in the US. However, the court decided it would be more fitting to punish Amoa with four years in prison.
Amoa arrived in the US from Samoa less than a week before giving birth to the baby. According to the Daily Mail, Amoa requested help from another nun in disposing the body of her dead child.
Representatives from Little Sisters of the Poor attended the hearing last Friday regarding Sosefina Amoa’s case. However, they declined to provide a statement to the press.
[Images from Little Sisters of the Poor website, Newsy,NBC]