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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

CHARGES DISMISSED AGAINST LORRAINE “LOLA” REID

District Court Judge John Ward has dismissed criminal charges against Lorraine “Lola” Reid who was accused of misappropriating funds belonging to the American Samoa Sailing Association (ASSA). The amount of the money in question is $1,130.

Reid was faced with embezzlement and stealing, both felony charges, which have been dismissed upon the request of the government.

The request came from the prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag who told the court the check has already been deposited into the ASSA bank account. However because the check is not a bank of Hawaii check, it’s procedure that the check will have to be cleared within several business days.

Poag said Reid handed the check over to the government, which handed it to the ASSA last week Friday. Reid was represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley.

According to the government’s case, on February 3, 2011 James McGuire filed a complaint with the Department of Public Safety regarding the ASSA Bank of Hawaii account, which was allegedly used by Reid for personal use. Court documents say that prior to the incident, Reid was a member and officer of the Pago Pago Yacht Club.

According to court documents, the account requires two signatures to withdraw funds from the ASSA account, however Reid signed a number of ASSA Junior Sailing fund checks made out to her name, and cashed them for her personal use.

In court documents Reid admitted to cashing six checks from August 12, 2010 to November 15, 2010, payable to herself and endorsed by herself without a second signature.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE

A man who allegedly struck his wife’s head with a piece of lumber and is facing second degree assault, and private and public peace disturbance charges, has received a plea offer from the government.

Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant to protect the identity of the victim involved.

The defendant is scheduled to be in court next week Monday for his pre-trial conference. In the meantime, details of the plea deal agreement are yet to be announced.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from the LBJ hospital about a woman receiving treatment after she was allegedly assaulted by her husband.

According to the government’s case the defendant had a verbal argument with his wife after she asked her husband not to go out drinking, which escalated into an assault.

The defendant has been released on bail of $5,000, and is represented by Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.

CASHIER PLEADS GUILTY TO SELLING ALCOHOL TO MINOR

An Asian store clerk has been placed on six months probation with the condition that she attend and successfully complete the training with the First Lady's Ta’ita’itama program to prevent underage drinking.

These are the conditions of Xiuxia Cao’s sentencing after she entered a guilty plea to selling alcohol to a minor last week. Sentencing for Cao was handed down by District Court Judge John Ward.

Cao is one of the many store clerks being prosecuted for aiding a child to possess or consume alcohol in connection with compliance checks conducted by the First Lady’s program.

Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley told Samoa News the government is still conducting undercover operational buys to hold those accountable for violating the law and most importantly to keep beer and liquor out from the reach of young ones.

Blake reminds business owners holding a liquor license to attend the Responsible Beverage Server Training (RBST), a free course. The next one will be held next week on June 19, 2012.

UNDERAGE DRINKING CASE

Two female juveniles and Mariota Fa’atauava’a, a 19-year old ‘mala’ or transvestite were arrested Wednesday evening in Fagaima on allegations of public peace disturbance. They made their initial appearance in the District Court yesterday.

(Samoa News notes that the court and the police refer to Fa’atauava’a as a male transvestite)

The three are charged together with underage drinking, however with Fa’atauva’a the government is looking into filing additional charges against him for assault, resisting arrest and property damage. According to the government’s case, police received a call that the three defendants entered church premises and yelled profanities.

Police affidavit say that when officers attempted to apprehend Fa’atauva’a he resisted by kicking and punching a police officer, and when placed in the police vehicle he repeatedly kicked the window until the window shattered.

The juveniles involved were not taken to the Tafuna Correctional Facility, they were released to their parents after they were taken to the police station.

Fa’atauva’a was confined over night at TCF, and released after his court appearance yesterday.

The trio, who are represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley, will appear in court on June 27, 2012 for a status hearing in this matter.



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