Court Report



A man accused of assaulting his 7-month pregnant wife is facing third assault and public peace disturbance charges however, Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe is also looking at filing additional charges.

The defendant is held on bail of $150 under the condition that if he’s released on a bond he should not, in any way, try to contact his wife. Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant to protect the identity of the victim in this matter.

The government alleges the defendant allegedly pushed the victim to the ground and slapped her on the face twice.

Police arrested the defendant and questioned him at the Central Police Station.

According to a police affidavit, when the defendant arrived at the police station he attempted to flee and was apprehended by officers outside the police station. It’s alleged that police officers told the defendant to stop but he kept running from the police.

Emergency medical services who responded to treat the pregnant woman were told to see the doctor for further observation because she was pregnant.

The woman was taken to the LBJ hospital for further treatment and a doctor on duty reported to police that the victim was in the labor room and she did not sustain any injuries.

The doctor told police the woman and her unborn child are both healthy.

The defendant is scheduled to appear in the District Court on Monday for a status on his case if the government will be filing additional charges. The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley.


The Manumalo teacher accused of inappropriately touching one his female students is going to trial as his lawyer Fiti Sunia noted on Thursday, when Tupua appeared before the District Court for his pre-trial conference.

Dave Tupua is facing charges of false imprisonment which carries a jail term of up to one year in jail and or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.  And also, two charges of third degree assault for offensive touching, which is punishable up to 15 days in jail and or a fine of $300, or both, which are all misdemeanors.

Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley told Samoa News he’s ready to go to trial however District Court Judge John Ward rescheduled a final pre-trial conference. In the meantime, the Attorney General’s office has made a plea offer to the science teacher who is denying the charges against him.

Hanley has declined to disclose the details of the offer.

Judge Ward rescheduled the matter for June 22, 2012 for the final pre-trial and during that hearing if the parties are still going to trial the court will then schedule a jury trial date.

According to the government’s case, the December 2011 allegations have that the defendant asked the victim to approach him, he grabbed the victim below her waist and pulled her towards him.

In an earlier interview with Chairman of the Board for Manumalo Baptist School, Papali’i Lauli’i Alofa, the teacher accused had already been suspended for a period of six weeks immediately after the alleged incident surfaced however, the teacher is back to work and teaching courses, while the school awaits the outcome of his court hearings.


A woman who was convicted of public peace disturbance for making loud noises and swearing in the Bowling Alley two months ago was placed on probation on Thursday.

Malama Petaia was ordered by District Court Judge John L. Ward to stay away from the club as a condition of her 9 months probation. Judge Ward noted that the testimony presented during her bench trial has it that she drank too much alcohol which triggered her outbursts that night.

The District Court sentenced Petaia to nine months jail time however, execution of the sentencing is suspended and she’s placed on probation under the condition she serve 30 days in jail.

The Judge warned her that if she does not abide by the condition of her probation she will serve the jail time.

The defendant was also ordered not to drink alcohol during her probation term and she must attend and successfully complete alcohol counseling. Another condition of her probation was to pay a fine of $150 within the next 45 days.  Judge Ward initially fined the defendant $500, however the court deferred $350 of the fine.

During the arrest of Petaia by police, it’s alleged that Attorney General Camille Philippe interfered with the arrest.

The affidavit for this matter states that when police arrived at the bowling alley, the club owner told police, the security guards were trying to tell Petaia that beer bottles are not allowed on the dance floor for safety reasons, however the defendant got furious and started swearing at the security guards.

After interviewing the club owner, police searched for the defendant who was boarding a bus with Assistant AG Philippe.

Court filings say Assistant AG Philippe did not let the police officers inside the bus and after several minutes of confrontation with the prosecutor, police officers then told the bus driver to go over to the Tafuna Sub Station for further investigation.

Court filings stated that every time the police officers tried to interview the defendant Philippe would tell the defendant to be quiet. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau told Samoa News in an earlier interview that the AG’s office is awaiting a report from the police, to file charges against Philippe if need be.

The defendant was represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley. 


Chief Justice Michael Kruse delayed the probation review for inmate Pati Lepou until he is sentenced by the High Court, for breaking out of jail and assaulting an ANZ bank security guard in 2010.

Lepou was in jail for a burglary case which occurred several years back. His sentencing by the court for the burglary case where he was placed on five years probation with the condition he serves time in jail and remain a law abiding citizen.

While in jail, Lepou broke out of jail with other inmates David Maea, Sefo Lemalu and Gasona Mafiti and assaulted the security guard for which he was convicted by a five-member jury, after a four day trial last month.

Lepou was found guilty of three felony charges: first-degree robbery, escape from custody and first-degree assault.

Lepou is one of four inmates who escaped from the Tafuna Correctional facility in January 2010 and assaulted an ANZ bank security guard.

The government called to the stand Lepou’s cellmates from the time of the incident, who told the court they managed to open their cell with a key which belonged to a correctional officer and that they climbed over the fence before they came across the ANZ security guard whom they assaulted.

According to the government’s case, Lepou struck the guard and kicked him while demanding his car keys. Lepou told co-defendant Maea to stab the guard with a butter knife he was holding.

The security guard was hospitalized due to the severity of the injuries.

All three inmates involved in his matter have entered into plea agreements with the government which are pending before the court. 


The case of a man accused of inappropriately touching his wife’s sister while she was sleeping with her children and husband is now scheduled for a bench trial on June 22, 2012. Mapu Leota is charged with private peace disturbance. Leota is represented by Fiti Sunia while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe. 

According to the government’s case the victim was sleeping when she felt someone touching her on her private part when she work up it was Leota. The victim told police she woke up and saw the defendant who was bending near her feet with his fingers touching her private part through her shorts.

The victim then immediately pinched her husband’s chest to wake him up as the defendant was quickly walking away. The victim’s husband woke up and contacted police for assistance. The victim told police this is not the first time Leota touched her on her private part while she is sleeping with her children. The victim’s husband in a statement to police said he approached the defendant as to why he touched his wife inappropriately but the Leota just swore profanities towards him.

The police affidavit states the defendant lives behind the victim’s home and they share the same restroom which is located in the victim’s home.

The court filing states when they questioned the defendant who told police he did not go into the victim’s house and his wife can confirm his alibi. However, when police questioned the defendant’s wife she said she was not aware of anything until her sister’s husband showed up at their doorstep accusing Leota of touching his wife.

The police report states the investigating officer is also investigating a similar incident in which the same defendant is accused of touching the same victim while she was sleeping with her children. Leota who is out on bail of $1,000 was ordered by the District Court not to contact the victim directly or indirectly and he was to stay away from the victim’s residence.


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