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Court Report


A woman and her son have been charged on allegations they both assaulted the son’s girlfriend. Miriama Pese and her son, Matthew Pese are charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance. The son was arrested, however the mother was booked and released given her health condition.

The police also booked and released the victim, Britta Ioane, however during her appearance in court, District Court Judge John Ward noted the government would not proceed to file a criminal case against the victim.

According to the government’s case, police responded to a call from the victim claiming she was assaulted by her boyfriend and his mother in the presence of her one year old son.

The victim told police that she was on her way home with Matthew and their son, when Matthew wanted to stop by in Matu’u to visit his mother. However the victim refused and Matthew slapped the victim across the face. It's alleged the victim then swore at Matthew.

It’s alleged the victim then contacted her father via cell phone, when Matthew grabbed the phone and said threatening remarks to the victim’s father. The victim then told Matthew that she would do the same to his mother. Court filings state, Matthew then told the victim, “when my mom comes, you guys are going to fight one on one, and when my mom kills you I’m going to roll you down the hill,” says court filings.

It’s alleged Miriama arrived at the scene and swore at the victim and then joined her son in assaulting the victim. The victim managed to escape the defendants and contacted police for assistance. The victim suffered a swollen left jaw and abrasions to both upper arms and knees.

The defendants entered not guilty pleas to the charges against them. In the meantime the government is looking into this matter to determine if additional charges should be filed against Miriama and her son Matthew.

Judge Ward ordered the defendants not to contact the victim directly or indirectly if they are released out on bail.


A man is charged with third degree assault for offensive touching and property damage third degree which are both misdemeanors, on allegations he climbed into a girl’s bedroom and laid on the victim.

Toma Lisi also known as Onosa’i Lisi who arrived in the territory on a 30-day permit back in April 19, 2011 made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday after spending the weekend in jail.

According to the government’s case, the defendant hung around with the victim in front of their house. It's alleged the victim gave the defendant money to buy snacks from the store, however the defendant left and did not return. Court filings state, around the early hours of Friday morning, the defendant allegedly tore off the screen wire to the window and climbed into the victim’s bedroom, took off his clothes, climbed onto the bed and laid on the victim. 

The government claims the victim was awoken by the heavy presence on top of her to find the defendant. The victim said the defendant attempted to kiss her but she pushed him away and told him to leave and then he left.

According to the government’s case, the defendant then left the bedroom and the authorities were contacted by the victim’s family.


A man who allegedly assaulted his wife for cheating on him with his cousin spent the weekend in jail.

Samoa News will not name the defendant in order to protect the identity of the complaining witness. The defendant, who was released on his own recognizance, is charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance, however the government is investigating this matter to determine if additional charges will be filed.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from a doctor at LBJ hospital reporting that one of their patients was a victim of a domestic violence. The doctor told police the victim said she was struck on the face and arms, however she did not suffer any serious injuries.

The victim told police that her husband found out that she slept with another man who is her husband’s cousin, which instigated the incident. She said that her husband slapped her and punched her numerous times on her face and body in front of the laundromat in Gataivai, Utulei.

Court filings state the victim said, she got into an argument Thursday night with her husband about the affair and then she left. However early Friday morning she walked to the laundromat to look for a ride to go to her family home in Nu’uuli when her husband saw her, and beat her up.

Police interviewed the defendant who admitted to beating his wife. He told police on Thursday night they got into a verbal argument about the affair and he told her to go back to her family in Nu’uuli.

However early Friday morning, he was heading to the store when he saw his wife holding hands with his cousin. The defendant said he pulled over and found out his cousin had fled and so he beat up his wife by slapping her on the face.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale.


The government’s case against Inmate I’umalo Seiuli, who’s charged with two counts of escape while on work release, is scheduled to have his plea deal hearing on December 11, 2012.

The continuance came from Assistant Public Defender Mike White who informed the court that they have reached a plea deal, however the proper documents need to be filed with the court.

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde confirmed what the Asst. Public Defender said and Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond granted the request for a brief continuance.

According to the government’s case, the defendant has been serving a jail term since Feb. 13, 2009 for his conviction of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. Seiuli’s first work release program application was processed and approved on July 14, 2011. His work release was terminated on Sept. 2, 2011 following the defendant’s random drug test, which came out positive for marijuana, say court filings.

The government claims that the defendant was approved a second time for work release to work for Sili’s Burger and Car Wash where he started on Apr. 23, 2012. This second work release program was terminated a month later, after a criminal investigation involving employees of Sili’s was initiated and  they were questioned regarding a box of drugs seized by Custom’s Officers at the Fagatogo US Post office.

According to the government’s case, several sources told police they observed the defendant at his family residence in Nua ma Se’etaga while on work release.

The government claims the conditions of the work release do not allow him to deviate to other places, but only to his work place and back to the jail.  Each time work release was granted, the government says the defendant was told of the rules and conditions of the work release program.