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Court Report



Chief Justice Michael Kruse scheduled a jury trial for the government’s case against former ASCC instructor James Barlow who is accused of giving three minors alcohol, had them watch pornographic movies and allegedly having sex with the three boys.  Barlow who’s remanded behind bars on a $100,00 bail, is charged with two counts of sodomy; three counts of deviate sexual assault; two counts of child sexual abuse; three counts of furnishing pornographic materials to minors; three counts of aiding a child to possess consume alcohol; three counts of endangering the welfare of a child; DUI; careless driving and non possession of a driver’s license.


The defendant was in court yesterday morning after his attorney Mark Ude filed a motion sanctioning the government for failing to provide requested documents for the defense. However during the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop informed the court, that she had emailed the documents to Ude in May of last year and provided him with another copy recently.


With the jury trial set for November 18, 2013, Kruse noted that he will hold a hearing on the pending motion, on a later date.


According to the government’s case, the defendant was pulled over for suspected DUI when the police saw young boys in the vehicle who were also under the influence of alcohol. The juveniles were charged with underage drinking while the defendant was charged with DUI and other traffic citations. Later on the government filed the sex charges against the defendant, following an investigation into allegations that the defendant had sex with the boys.


Court filings state that on October 25, 2011 the first victim was at the defendant’s house and it’s alleged the defendant gave him a beer and turned on a pornographic movie. The first victim told the police that he was uncomfortable because Barlow was watching him and making kissing noises.  It’s alleged that when the beer was finished Barlow and the first victim went to fetch more beer from the store where they saw the second victim.


According to court documents the second victim was invited to Barlow’s house. It’s alleged that when the defendant got home with the two boys, they started drinking beer and shortly after,  the third victim arrived.  The three victims told the police that the defendant showed them pornographic videos again and the defendant told the three boys that he would give them $5.00 each if they had sex with him.


Court filings state that the defendant went into his bedroom and called the boys one by one and allegedly had sex with them.


Aside from the sexual related charges Barlow is also being charged for DUI. According to the government’s case the defendant had a party at his residence with the three juveniles before heading out on the road. It’s alleged that the defendant’s vehicle was pulled over by police in early November last year in Fogagogo, while the three students were present and were allegedly intoxicated.


The college terminated Barlow’s employment not long after he was charged.




A man accused of beating his wife two years ago, has entered into a plea agreement with the government. The matter was reported to the police by the wife two years ago yet the charges were only filed recently. The man is accused of beating his wife with an electric fan and is charged with second degree assault.


Samoa News has chosen not to name the defendant to protect the identity of the victim in this matter. During the plea deal the defendant pleaded guilty to third degree assault amended from the second degree charge. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for next month.


According to the government’s case, on May 17, 2010 a woman reported to the police that she was being assaulted by her husband in their home in Fagaitua. The woman told the police, that the incident occurred when she came home from a party and her husband was frustrated which caused a verbal argument between them that resulted in her husband chasing her all the way down to the sea side. 


The victim said they went inside the house and her husband then beat her with an electric fan stand, striking her on the body (shoulder, arms and legs).   The victim managed to escape by jumping from the window and that’s when her aunt came to her aid.


The 18-inch oscillating electric fan that was used by the defendant had been seized as evidence and was taken to the police evidence room.


According to court filings, the defendant came to the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) office for questioning. It's alleged that the defendant made a spontaneous remark admitting that he assaulted his wife, but he refused to make a statement. 


The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.




Two dog bite cases are now being settled with plea agreements by the government. Ioane Passi and Leneuoti Tuaua are each charged in separate cases, with possession of a vicious animal, a class D felony, which carries a jail term of up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. The plea agreement hearings are scheduled to be held next week. Details of the plea offers have yet to be discussed.




According to the government’s case, on Sept. 6, 2012 it was reported by a nurse at the LBJ hospital that a young boy was receiving medical treatment following an alleged dog bite in Vatia. The 10-year-old boy told police he was walking with his aunt when he was attacked by two dogs and bitten on the leg. The aunt told police that she was watching over her nephew while his mother was in Samoa. 


Court filings state that the aunt heard dogs barking and saw four dogs running towards them. She stated that neither she nor her children provoked the dogs in any way and that the dogs involved always bark and run toward people passing by.


The aunt said two of the dogs attacked her nephew and she was unable to stop the attack, but she threw rocks at the dogs which eventually caused the dogs to run away. .


Court filings state that the aunt identified the defendant as the owner of the dogs. It’s alleged that while the dogs were attacking the 10-year-old boy the defendant was standing outside of his house with his children, watching, but did not do anything.


The aunt also told police that her brother-in-law was attacked and bitten by some of Passi’s dogs a year ago. The young boy sustained a five centimeter laceration to his right leg, requiring five stitches to cover the wound, as a result of the attack by the dogs.


Passi told police that his dogs ran towards the victim because he was being followed by other dogs. Court filings stated that on Sept. 22, 2012 the police along with an employee of the Department of Agriculture seized the alleged vicious dog involved in the incident.




The victim told police that she was walking from her house to work when she was attacked by dogs. Court filings state that the victim did not provoke the dogs in any way and she managed to ward off two dogs but the remaining dog bit her on the thigh and a man came out of nowhere and chased the dogs away.


The victim further stated that she was approached by a woman who seemed to be the owner of the three dogs but the woman did not offer her any help. The victim sustained a laceration about three centimeters wide and six centimeters deep, and two stitches were required to close up the wound.


Police approached the home where the dogs were, and the defendant admitted the dogs belong to him. He said he was aware that his dog attacked a woman earlier in the day. Court filings stated that on Nov. 27, 2012 police, along with an employee of the Agriculture office apprehended two of the dogs that attacked the victim.