Samoa based boxer Aokuso Fa'amanu was arraigned Monday in High Court where he entered not guilty pleas to the charges of rape, deviated sexual assault, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Fa'amanu's case was bound over from District Court last Thursday after the defendant waived his rights to a preliminary examination hearing. His attorney, Public Defender Ruth Risch-Fuatagavi entered the pleas during Monday's arraignment hearing.
Assistant Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau informed the court that the government is in contact with the Samoa Consulate Office in Fagatogo regarding the defendant, whose pre trial conference hearing is set for Dec. 19th.
Fa'amanu, who remains in custody unable to post the $100,000 bail, is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 16-year old victim on Nov. 3. Fa'amanu was in the territory last month along with a boxing team from Samoa for the Moso'oi Amateur Boxing tournament.
The government on Monday filed an additional charge of misdemeanor third degree assault against local boxing official Henry Tavake, who is also faced with a misdemeanor public peace disturbance charge for allegedly punching another local boxing official.
The alleged altercation occurred just after last week's sentencing hearing in the District Court for Samoa boxing coach Lautapa'a Wong King, who pled guilty to a misdemeanor and has since returned to Apia.
The victim told police that the defendant approached him and punched him. Tavake told police that he approached the victim and whispered in the victim's ear to "stop spreading rumors" about the defendant, the affidavit alleges.
Tavake states that the victim "stood in a stance that appeared" to the defendant "as a person ready to strike" and that was when the defendant "countered with a left hook connecting with the victim's jaw," it further alleges.
Released on his own recognizance, Tavake returns to court early next month for his preliminary examination hearing.
The High Court has continued to Nov. 21 the pre trial conference hearing for David Maea, whose attorney says that a plea agreement has been reached in this case.
Maea and three other inmates are accused by the government of breaking out of the Territorial Correctional Facility in January of 2010 and making their way down the road to the ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank where a security guard was assaulted.
Maea, who is serving time for a previous crime, appeared in court Monday where his attorney announced that a plea agreement has been signed with the government, and requested a continuance.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse granted the verbal motion but informed attorneys for both sides that if an agreement is not presented to the court during the next hearing on Nov. 21, the court will put this case on the calender for trial.
Maea's two co-defendants Lemalu Sefo and Gasona Mafiti have already reached separate plea agreements with the government where each defendant pled guilty to escape from confinement, while the charge of first degree robbery was dismissed.
The fourth co-defendant Pati Lepou goes on trial Dec. 1. Sentencing for Sefo and Mafiti is on hold until a resolution is reach on the cases for Maea and Lepou.
HUSBAND ACCUSED OF THREATENING WIFE
A husband taken into custody over the weekend from Tafuna for allegedly threatening his wife with a machete has been ordered by the District Court to find a temporary place to reside and is not to attempt any contact with his wife and children during this cooling off period.
The alleged incident occurred Saturday evening when the husband came home intoxicated and allegedly assaulted his wife, who was kicked and punched, according to the government's case.
And when the wife told the defendant she was going to contact police, the husband allegedly got a hold of a machete and told the wife that he will cause her serious injuries if police were contacted.
The defendant returns to court on Thursday and it should be known at the time if any additional charges will be filed by the government. Currently the defendant is charged with misdemeanor private peace disturbance.
The government has charged Andres Villar with not only breaking into the Tafuna Community Health Center last month but also stealing two Department of Health vehicles - license plate numbers DOH-6 and DOH-35.
In yesterday's story regarding Villar, it states that there was no indication from the court affidavit as to who stole DOH-6, which had major damage to the left side and tires. The court affidavit does state that Villar allegedly admitted to stealing DOH-35.
In further review of the charges levied by the government, court documents state that Villar is not only charged with stealing DOH-35 but also DOH-6. He is also charged with second degree burglary for breaking into the community health center and third degree property damage.
The new charges against Villar were filed Monday in District Court where the defense sought a reduction in bail, now set at $20,000. The court denied the request, saying that the charges warrant the high bail amount.
Samoa News reporters Ausage Fausia and Fili Sagapolutele contributed to this report.