Couple faces sex abuse charges

POLK COUNTY — A Polk County woman has been charged with witness tampering, while her husband faces sex abuse charges, both involving a juvenile female family member.

On June 9, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Tinitale Makalea, 48, on sex abuse charges and violating a “no contact” order with the girl he had previously been accused of abusing sexually.

Upon further investigation, deputies charged his wife, April Makalea, with tampering with a witness on June 16. Police said the investigation revealed April Makalea had knowledge of the alleged sex abuse of the minor female, yet she did not report it. She also told the victim not to disclose the sex abuse to investigators, police said.

April Makalea was taken to the Polk County Jail where her bail was set at $15,000.

On Jan. 12, Tinitale Makalea was arrested on a charge of third-degree sex abuse after a minor female family member disclosed he had touched her sexually in September 2015, according to police. Upon posting bail on the charge, Tinitale Makalea was ordered to have no contact with the victim.

In early June, detectives learned Tinitale Makalea was not following that order. With assistance from Dallas Department of Human Services Child Welfare and the Independence police investigators, the girl disclosed additional sexual contact prior to Tinitale Makalea’s arrest in January. She also told investigators Tinitale Makalea had been sexually abusing her over a two-month period from March to April 2016 at his new residence about one mile from the her residence in south Polk County, police said.

He was charged with nine counts of second-degree sex abuse, six counts of third-degree sex abuse and violation of the no-contact order. Tinitale Makalea is being held at the Polk County Jail on $1 million bail.

The investigation is on-going. Additional victims or anyone with information: Detective John Williams at 503-623-9251.

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