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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

LAFOGA KERETI

An 18-year old boy made his initial appearance before District Court Judge John Ward yesterday after he allegedly struck a Chinese woman on the face with a PVC pipe on Tuesday in Afono. The Chinese woman owns a store in that village.

Lafoga Kereti is facing third degree assault and public peace disturbance charges, however Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe said the government is looking in this matter and may possibly file felony charges.

According to the government’s case the defendant owed the store 50 cents from a shopping he made earlier in the week.

It’s alleged the defendant went on Tuesday to the store to shop, and the Chinese store clerk did not give the defendant his change. The defendant got upset and struck the woman three times.

Police affidavit says the PVC pipe landed on the woman’s face and arms when she tried to block her face from the pipe. The victim was taken to the LBJ hospital for treatment and she was released the same day. The defendant, who’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement, is being held on a $200 bail.

His pre-trial conference has been scheduled on March 20, 2012.

TAU MALAE

The High Court has scheduled a trial date for a man accused of performing sexual acts with his wife’s two nieces last year. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond scheduled the trial on July 17, 2012 which is also the deadline to file a pre-trial conference motion in this matter.

Tau Malae is denying the charges of sodomy, two charges of first degree sexual abuse, two counts of deviate sexual assault and rape which have been filed against him.

The defendant, who’s out on $50,000 bail is represented by Fiti Sunia. Prosecuting for this case is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau.

According to the court affidavit, the incident came to light when a relative of the two victims reported the matter to police. The victims were 16 years of age when the alleged incidents occurred.

It’s alleged the defendant touched both victims in a sexual manner, and the government claims the defendant raped one of his wife’s nieces.

Court documents say the victims lost count of how many times the defendant tried to have sex with both of the victims; and the defendant threatened to beat the victims and send them back to Upolu if they told anyone what happened.

Both victims told police that on December 22, 2011 they had a family meeting, where the defendant apologized, and told the victims he would not do it again.

The court document says that when police questioned the defendant he admitted touching both victims in a sexual manner. The affidavit also states the defendant’s wife admitted to police she was aware that the sexual incidents had been happening.

IOANE TU’UMALO

The government’s case against a Tafuna High School student accused of being in possession of illegal drugs while he was in school has been continued to April 12, 2012. Eighteen-year old Ioane Tu’umalo is in police custody on bail of $10,000.

The continuance came at the request of Assistant Public Defender Mike White, who told the court that more time is needed to negotiate this matter. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond granted the request.

The student, who is a senior, is facing unlawful possession of a controlled substance, which is punishable with five to twenty years in jail, and/ or a fine of $5,000.

Court filings say that Tu’umalo was caught smoking on school grounds by school officials and when he was searched, a red plastic vial containing three ‘joints’ was found in his pocket. The joints tested positive for marijuana.

According to court documents, when questioned by police, Tu’umalo said he went into the bathroom and found the red vial on the floor and he picked it up. The defendant told police there were four marijuana joints inside the vial, and admitted to smoking one of the four joints.



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