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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

More than 20 Tafuna High School students have been placed on suspension following a brawl between Vaitogi students and Nu’uuli students last Friday on the high school campus.

Lentoy Matagi principal of Tafuna High School said, she has also made recommendations for the 23 students to be moved to another environment. “At hand, safety is the most important issue... I have to think about the safety of the students that are not involved and the safety of the staff,” she said.

The principal said one of the counselors was injured as a result of the fight, while he was trying to break up the fight between the students. “Luckily the police station is close to the school campus and they responded quickly last Friday. “The focus now is to ensure the safety of the innocents students”, she said.

In the meantime, the eleven students who were arrested last Friday, as a result of the fight, appeared before the District Court Monday morning.

Assistant Attorney General Terrie Bullinger said all eleven of those students are charged with public peace disturbance, however further investigation is being conducted to determine whether additional charges will be filed against the students.

Bullinger said the fight was between Vaitogi students and Nu’uuli students, which started off with only a couple of students and escalated into a bigger fight. This occurred around 7 a.m. inside the school’s gymnasium.

The prosecutor said she has received a preliminary report from the Tafuna High School Principal of the incident that occurred on the school campus, and the names of the students allegedly involved. Bullinger said police affidavits note that three students were allegedly injured from the brawl, one student sustaining a broken leg, while other students received lacerations on their facial areas.

ALLEGED ASSAULT LEADS TO ARREST OF FIVE FAMILY MEMBERS

Five family members spent last weekend in jail, on allegations they assaulted an elderly woman and her daughter over a land dispute. The incident is said to have taken place last week Saturday at Coconut Point (Nu’uuli).

The three women, Talaleu Fanene, Sema Lemalu, Le’aniva Fanene-Saifoloi and two minors appeared before the District Court on Monday. They are charged with public peace disturbance and third degree assault.

The defendants are represented by Mark Ude who says they are going to the fight the charges by the police.

According to the government’s case, the defendants allegedly assaulted an elderly woman and her daughter. They were released on their own recognizance and are summoned to appear on February 17, 2012.

Prosecuting for the government in this case is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.

TONE PULOU

The former elementary school teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old female student, which resulted in the girl’s pregnancy, returns to the High Court on February 22, 2012 as both sides work on a resolution to this matter. Twenty-six year old Tone Pulou has denied the charges of rape, sexual abuse in the first degree, and endangering the welfare of a child.

Pulou, who remains in custody of police, was in court yesterday for a pre trial conference hearing and is represented by Assistant Public Defender David White. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau said both sides are still working on a resolution to this case and it has to be put in writing.

According to court documents, the girl told police that she had sexual intercourse with Pulou starting around September 2009, ending February of last year. This case only came to the attention of the authorities, when the female student and her mother went to see the obstetrician at LBJ Medical Center, who then contacted Protective Services that the girl was pregnant.

Pulou fled the territory to Australia last year when the government moved to file charges. In October this year, Pulou visited relatives in Hawai’i, where he was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents based on a warrant issued by the local District Court.

 



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