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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

TRIO FACE DRUG CHARGES

Two men and a woman are each facing a single charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana. Hefa Pahe, Vaoeli Lafoa’i Jr and Talaese Keiana are scheduled to appear before the District Court on Monday, and are being held on bail of $20,000 each.

According to the government’s case the police were responding to a public peace disturbance call on a boat, where police came across the three defendants. The call to police came after the drinking session became violent, and those who were drinking were fighting.

It’s alleged when police arrived on the boat behind the Marina in Fagatogo, Lafoa’i fled and while trying to enter the main dock, port security found a marijuana joint on his ear. Police uncovered more marijuana substance in the pocket of Lafoa’i’s pants. Police also found marijuana substance on Pahe in the pockets of his pants.

Police affidavit says, when the woman was taken into the police station for questioning she went into the bathroom and flushed the marijuana substance that was on her, however some of the marijuana leaves were found near the toilet bowl. The substance uncovered on the trio tested positive for THC.

Police said the trio admitted the marijuana found belonged to them. 

TRISHA SIATU'U-SOLIAI & MISTIE GREY

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr released two women convicted of taking thousands of dollars from their former employers.

Mistie Grey and Trisha Siatu'u-Soliai were released after serving 28 months in jail as a condition of their five years probation. Grey, a former cashier with Tautua Mo Oe Wholesale was convicted of embezzlement for taking money from her former employer. Siatu'u-Soliai, a former travel agent, was convicted of embezzlement and forgery for using money from her former employer J&J World Travel. Siatu'u-Soliai forged checks which she cashed to replace the money she took.

Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi told the court that both women have made good faith efforts to pay restitution to their former employers. She said Siatu’u-Soliai has already paid $766 and Grey has already paid $6,000. The public defender told the court, the female inmates gave assurances that once they are released from custody, they will make every effort to find jobs so they can pay off their restitution.

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond ordered the balance of the women’s detention period to be stayed and released them from custody. The Judge told the pair they must still remain law abiding citizens and abide by all the conditions of their probation, which includes paying restitution and visiting their probation officer.

TWO SEXUALLY RELATED CASES CONTINUED

The government’s separate cases against two men in their 60’s, who are facing sexually related charges, have been continued.

Assistant Public Defender Michael White who represents the pair said they are still going through negotiation and more time is needed. Associate Justice Lyle Richmond granted the request and scheduled both cases TO April 12, 2012.

Sixty-seven year old taxi driver, Siulepa Auelua of Nu’uuli who’s held on bail of $35,000 is accused of having sex with a 16-year old girl. He’s facing Statutory Rape (having sexual intercourse with a girl under legal age), Sexual Abuse First Degree, Sodomy, Deviate Sexual Assault and a misdemeanor charge of Endangering Welfare of a Child.

The second case is a 64-year old man, who’s name cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the victim. This defendant is in custody on bail of $100,000 on allegations that he engaged in sexual conduct with a 6-year old girl, whom the defendant is related to.

The defendant is facing felony charges of Child Molestation, Rape, Sexual Abuse First Degree, Deviate Sexual Assault and a misdemeanor count of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.

It is alleged the sexual incidents between the 64-year old man and the minor started in August of last year with the latest incident January 6, 2012.

The men are represented by the Public Defender’s office, while prosecuting this case is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau.  



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