Court Report



A man who’s currently on probation following conviction of assaulting his wife, including during a pregnancy, is now facing additional counts in another case of assault.

The defendant, who is being held on bail of $20,000, made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning.

The defendant is now facing third degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, but not less than $150 or both. He is also charged with private peace disturbance, a class C misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to fifteen days, a fine of $300 or both.

According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police saying that her husband had assaulted her on July 31, 2012. Police responded to the defendant’s home in Nu’uuli, where the victim said the defendant hit her repeatedly, threw her clothes out of the home, and continued to hit her.

She added that the defendant slapped her face and cheek several times.

The wife further told police that her brother attempted to to help her, but the defendant threatened to shoot her brother if he interfered.

According to the government’s case the victim told police that her husband has assaulted her numerous times, and she believes that one of those assaults resulted in her miscarriage in June 2012, when she was five or six months pregnant with the defendant’s child.

The victim’s brother told police his sister called him twice while she was crying and asked him to help get her out of her house, however the defendant repeatedly told the brother not to come or he would shoot him.

According to the government’s case the defendant pled guilty to third degree assault for assaulting his wife on March 20, 2012. He was convicted a second time for third degree assault, to which he pled guilty on July 26, 2012.


Xue Mai Bai, a Chinese business woman who was convicted of receiving stolen property and was sentenced had petitioned the court to terminate or modify the conditions of probation that would allow her to return to the territory to visit family.

The hearing for the motion filed through Bai’s lawyer Marcellus Talaimalo Uiagalelei was held two months ago and was taken under advisement.

Bai was charged together with her husband Chi Zhi Ming who were both found guilty in two separate incidents of receiving stolen property.

They were sentenced in 2008 to serve seven years in jail, however execution of sentencing was suspended on the condition they leave the territory and not return for five years. They were also fined $5,000 each.

During the hearing Uiagalelei told the court that Bai wishes to return to the territory to visit her family here, and that she has complied with all conditions of her probation.

Deputy Attorney Mitzie Jessop, representing the government, said she does not object, however, no matter what probation recommends, Immigration will follow the law concerning convicted foreigners. Kruse then took the motion under advisement.

In an order denying the motion, the high court says that it finds no reasons justifying a termination or modification of Bai’s probation.

“Full compliance with the terms of probation is insufficient grounds to warrant a termination or modification of probation.

“Probationer’s desire to visit her family members living in the territory is hardly grounds to justify terminating probation” said the court.

The order further states that Bai does not indicate any hardships preventing her family members from visiting her in Samoa, where she and her husband currently reside. “Moreover it is not lost on us that Bai’s conviction for an offense involving — moral turpitude — renders her an excludable alien within contemplation of the Territory’s immigration laws.


A 45-year old man made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning on charges of third degree assault and public peace disturbance on allegations that he assaulted another man during a billiards match between the pair.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from the victim that Ioane Atonio had punched him repeatedly.

The victim told police that when the defendant arrived at the A&A Pizza Compound, the defendant started to cause trouble by trying to instigate an argument.

Court filings state that as a result of the argument, the defendant punched the victim in the face which led to the victim falling on the ground and the defendant repeatedly punched the victim while he was lying “helpless” on the floor.

It's alleged the defendant stopped and left the scene and then the victim got up and went home and contacted police.

The victim suffered swelling on the eyes, laceration on his forehead, scratches on the neck, and a major scratch on the nose. 

The victim was treated and released by Emergency Medical Services.

The defendant was ordered by District Court Judge John Ward not to contact the victim directly or indirectly and stay away from the premises where the incident occurred.

Atonio is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.


Pelasio So’otaga who was recently released from jail following his conviction for a burglary has been arrested again and is charged in another burglary at Tafuna High School stemming from an incident last year July. The defendant will be arraigned in the High Court today where he will enter a plea to the charges against him.

So’otaga is held on bail of $20,000 and is charged with burglary first degree.

According to the government’s case, THS reported to police that the main office had been broken into where a $20 bill was taken from one of the desks inside the office and a classroom broken into, where computer smart board equipment were removed.

According to the government’s case, investigating officers visited So’otaga at the Tafuna Correctional Facility, where So’otaga was serving jail time for a previous burglary.

So’otaga told police that he was not the only person involved and named two juveniles as other suspects in the July break-in at THS. One juvenile, So’otaga said, attended THS at the time.


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