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ATTACKERS IN SE’ETAGA ASSAULT CASE ORDERED TO PAY FINE

The two men charged in connection with an assault case in Se’etaga November last year, which landed a man in the hospital, were placed on probation on the condition they pay fines and serve multiple hours of community service.

Gafatasi Taveeveu and Logo Fa’amausili were initially charged with second-degree assault and public peace disturbance.

However in a plea agreement with the government Taveuveu pleaded guilty to public peace disturbance while the government moved to dismiss the remaining count.

The codefendant, Fa’amausili pleaded guilty to third degree assault, which was amended from second-degree assault. The pair both apologized for their actions and assured the court this behavior will not be repeated.

Taveuveu was represented by Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin who recommended probation for the defendant noting that he has no prior record, and he’s a father and husband who has expressed remorse for his actions.

Fa’amausili’s lawyer Assistant Public Defender Mike White asked the court for leniency for his client, stating that Fa’amausili has no prior records, is sorry for his actions, and knows that fighting is not the solution to a problem.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced Taveuveu to 180 days in jail, however execution of sentence was suspended and he’s placed on probation of two years under the conditions that he pays a $500 fine, and serves 80 hours of community service.

Fa’amausili was also sentenced to serve 180 days in jail however execution of sentence was suspended for him as well. He has been placed on probation of two years under the conditions that he pays a $1,000 fine and serves 80 hours of community service.

The two were ordered to remain law-abiding citizens. They are not allowed to consume alcohol, nor enter any taverns or bars and they were also ordered not to congregate with anyone consuming alcohol.

Fa’amausili and Taveuveu were ordered to visit the probation office regularly. According to the government’s case Fa’amausili and Taveuveu assaulted another man with beer bottles and used their hands to punch the victim on his face.

According to the government, Taveuveu and Fa’amausili were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

MALAKE GAUTA ENTERS GUILTY PLEA

 Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted a plea agreement between the government and Malake Gauta who’s facing charges after he had an ongoing sexual relationship with a 15-yea-old girl.

Gauta is facing statutory rape, deviate sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child and he has pled guilty to deviate sexual assault while the government has moved to dismiss the remaining charges.

According to the government’s case Gauta had a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old girl between July and September last year.

The government alleges the defendant would visit the girl at her home when she was alone. According to the government’s case the incident came to light when the girl's mother found the defendant in her house with her 15-year-old daughter and a 17-year-old niece.

Gauta has been in custody since 2011 with bail set at $50,000. Sentencing for Gauta has been scheduled for June 6, 2012. Assistant Public Defender Ruth Risch represents Gauta while prosecuting is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau.

ASG’S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE SEX CASE GRANTED

 Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond has granted the government’s motion to consolidate the cases of Mike Kim and Motau Samani. The two men are implicated in connection with sexual charges involving a minor back in 2010.

According to the government’s consolidated motion, combining these two cases will save the court’s time and resources as well as the prosecution’s time.

The motion has it that in these cases the two defendants are charged for the same offense. Kim, who’s a businessman is facing among other charges, conspiracy to commit rape while Samani is facing five counts, including conspiracy to commit rape. 

According to court filings, the alleged incident occurred on June 29, 2010 and the victim involved was a-17-year old girl.

The government claims that Samani took the victim to Tumu’s apartments where he claimed that he had a job opportunity for the victim. According to the government’s case Samani left the girl at Tumu’s apartment where Kim allegedly had sex with her.

According to the victim, when the businessman was done, he gave her $100. The third defendant in this matter, Police officer Atoe, is accused of allegedly trying to cover up the alleged sexual incident when he asked the victim’s father to go to the police and withdraw his complaint against Kim.

Atoe is charged with witness tampering and concealing an offense. His case is also pending in the High Court. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau is prosecuting while Fiti Sunia is representing Kim and Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi represents Samani.

CHURCH MINISTER RECEIVES PLEA OFFER FROM GOVERNMENT

 The government has handed a plea offer to CCCAS Faleniu Reverend Ali’ioaiga Filioali’i, who has been charged with vehicular homicide. Details of the plea offer were not made public.

The minister is facing charges following a car accident, which led to the death of a 12-year-old girl on September 19, 2010. Vehicular homicide is a felony, which is punishable with up to five years in jail and or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

The defendant is represented by Fiti Sunia who asked the court for a brief continuance while they address the plea offer from the government.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse granted the request and scheduled another pre-trial conference for the church minister on June 11, 2012.

According to the government’s case the defendant was the driver of an F-150 pick-up truck that struck the victim who was on the sidewalk with her friend along the Faleniu public highway on September 19, 2010. The government claims the front right fender of the truck struck the victim.

According to court filings the victim’s friend told police the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed, and this was also the statement made by witnesses who spoke to police about the 2010 accident.  

Court filing states the driver of the vehicle that was in front of the Reverend’s car told police the defendant’s vehicle was traveling at a very high speed. 

According to the government’s case the victim was rushed to LBJ following the accident and she slipped into a coma and died 11 days later.

An autopsy was conducted and the cause of death was determined to be a cerebral cortical contusion with associated subdural hemorrhage caused by blunt force injury to the head.

Fiti Sunia represents the church minister while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.



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