FORMER SHS PRINCIPAL CHARGED
Simon Mageo, former Samoana High School Principal made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday on two charges of third degree assault and two charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Mageo was in court on a criminal summons, where he denied the charges against him.
The assault counts are class C misdemeanors punishable by up to 15 days in jail, a fine of up to $300 or both, while the endangerment count is a class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
According to the government’s case the incident is alleged to have occurred last year in March. Court filings say a student went into the principal’s office to get an admit slip because he was absent from school the day before, and then principal Mageo hit the student on the back of his neck twice. The student told police this was not the first time this has happened.
Another student told police that when he went into Mageo’s office to obtain an admit slip because he was sick the day before, he witnessed Mageo calling other students over and hitting them behind the neck.
The student said when it was his turn, he told the defendant that he was not going to hit him. It’s alleged Mageo laughed and pulled his earlobe.
Mageo in a written statement to police admitted to slapping one of the students and pulling the other student’s earlobe. The defendant, who’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley, is scheduled to be in court next month for a status hearing on his case.
Samoa News understands the defendant is currently working at the Department of Education’s main office.
BURGLARY CASE IN HIGH COURT
A man who allegedly walked into a store, pressed the cash register open and took off with about $1,000 has been charged with burglary and felony stealing. Ieremia Cameron was arraigned in High Court last week, where he denied the charges against him.
According to the government’s case, police received a call from a Chinese woman asking for assistance, saying that the defendant took off with money from her store. Police responded to the call and were provided with video footage of the alleged incident.
Court filings say the defendant was accompanied by Wayne Peleiupu, who is also charged with burglary and felony stealing.
Both are being held on bail of $10,000.
FISHERMAN TO BE SENTENCED IN SEXUAL ABUSE CASE
A fisherman facing sexually related charges has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Solomona Aru from the Solomon Islands was initially facing charges of deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. However, in a plea agreement the defendant entered a guilty plea to sexual abuse first degree while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges.
Aru is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while the prosecutor is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement. This plea is the result of ongoing negotiations during pre-trial conferences that were continued on several occasions.
According to the government’s case Aru is accused of attempting to perform sexual advances against a woman, who was sleeping at home with her young child.
The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.
JOVIAN TOLOA ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Jovian Toloa who’s facing second degree assault, public peace disturbance, and endangering the welfare of a child has pleaded guilty to the assault count. As part of the plea agreement the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse presided over the hearing held yesterday. Toloa is charged together with Nisani Euini and a male juvenile, however the co-defendant cases are pending in the District Court on misdemeanor charges.
The incident stemmed from a misunderstanding, wherein the victim was giving Toloa’s girlfriend a ride home; however Toloa and his co-defendants assumed the girl was in a relationship with the victim and allegedly assaulted the victim in his vehicle while his daughter was present.
The defendant has agreed to pay restitution for the victim’s dental bill.
The plea agreement states that the defendant understands and accepts that sentencing recommendations by counsel are not binding on the court, which has the sole responsibility for determining an appropriate sentence within the limits of the law.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing on for March 15, 2013. Toloa has been incarcerated since November with bail set at $5,000.
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