Court Report



Chief Justice Michael Kruse has granted the government’s motion to dismiss the criminal case against four men accused of having sexual intercourse with a 14 year old girl who was a student in elementary school at the time of the incident.


Tavita Mariota, Anthony Sioka, Lewis Lokeni and Peni Levi were facing charges of rape, sexual abuse first degree and endangering the welfare of a child. According to the government, the dismissal motion was filed after further investigation.


The government asked the court to grant their dismissal motion however they will move to file new and appropriate charges and the said charges are ready for immediate filing, stated the motion.




According to the government’s case, the incident came to light when a truancy officer at Lupelele Elementary School, contacted the police about a possible sexual case after observing “love bite marks” on a 14-year old girl’s neck.


During police investigation, the victim informed the police that she had engaged in sexual intercourse with 27-year-old Mariota in March 2012. The government claims Mariota had sex with the girl on several occasions.


Police spoke to Mariota who admitted to having sexual intercourse with Jane Doe at his home in Fagaima around Flag Day 2012, but only once. He also told the police that she slept at his house three times.




The second defendant, Lokeni 25, is alleged to have had sexual intercourse with the same 14-year-old girl on April 28, 2012 at his house in the village of Fagaima, and left “love bite marks” on the girl’s neck.


Jane Doe told police that the first time she and Lokeni engaged in sexual intercourse was behind Mose’s store (formerly known as Hillside Variety) in Fagaima, and the second time in a deserted building also in Fagaima. Jane Doe further told police that she also had sex with Lokeni on April 17, 2012. Court filings state that Jane Doe’s father told police that Jane Doe swallowed Clorox bleach on April 30, 2012, in an attempt to hurt herself.


Jane Doe explained to police that she attempted to kill herself after a teacher discovered the love bite marks on her neck on April 30, 2012 and questioned her about them. Police met with Lokeni at his home to investigate the allegations by Jane Doe.


Lokeni told police that Jane Doe came onto him, and that he did have sexual intercourse with Jane Doe behind Mose’s store in Fagaima around April 20, 2012.




Third defendant, Levi 21, allegedly had sex with the girl when she was 13-years-old for the first time on August 12, 2011. Jane Doe explained that she was approached by Levi who wanted to date her and on that same day she and Levi had sex and later went to live at her mother's residence in another village.


Jane Doe told police she returned to her father’s home in Tafuna in October 2011 where she had sex with Levi twice.


Levi was interviewed by police on May 2, 2012, where he denied being the first one to have sex with Jane Doe. Levi told police that Jane Doe told him she had sexual intercourse with another man before him. Levi admitted he had sexual intercourse with Jane Doe, but only once, during the month of October 2011 in a deserted building in Tafuna.




The last defendant in this case is Sioka, 20 who allegedly had sex with the girl in October 2011. She told police that she and Sioka went to an abandoned house where they had sex, and in that month alone, had sex four times.


Sioka during an interview with police admitted to engaging in sexual intercourse with Jane Doe and said the sex was consensual. Sioka told police that when he met Jane Doe, he could not believe how young she looked, but that he thought he might have a chance with her. He admitted to having sex with Jane Doe three or four times between August and October 2011.




Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde requested the court for a continuance, given that discovery has yet to be turned over to the defense in the case of Fa’afetai Siaulaiga facing criminally negligent homicide in connection with the murder of Sio Faumui back in 2011 in Malaeimi and escaping from confinement.


The escape count filed against Fa’afetai follows his initial appearance for escaping from police custody at the District Court. Kruse granted the request and rescheduled the pre-trial conference next month.


The first government case against Fa'afetai was filed after the government received new information that he was seen on the day Sio was brutally beaten to death, near the vicinity of the crime.


The investigating officer was provided with written statements from two witnesses who both told the Public Defender's office where they had seen Fa’afetai.


The government claims the two witnesses told police that on June 4, 2011 they were in Malaeimi across the street from where the incident occurred when they both saw the defendant running towards them wearing a shirt covered with blood, as were his hands.


Another defendant, Poamo Ne’emia told police that they had both punched Sio Faumui repeatedly while Fa’afetai Siaulaiga and Sefo Siauliaga struck the deceased with a rock and a beer bottle.


The escape case alleges that the defendant fled the court after his initial appearance and made it to Faganeanea by bus, but because he was pursued by police officers he exited the bus and ran up to the mountains of Faganeanea.


A resident of Faganeanea contacted police, reporting seeing the defendant get into a red Suzuki in Avau and he was apprehended at the police roadblock in Nu’uuli.  


The defendant was questioned by police after he was warned of his constitutional rights. Fa’afetai said when he exited the court house, he only thought about his family and wanting to spend Christmas with them and return to court on Wednesday, and that’s why he boarded the bus heading to Pava’ia’i.


Fa’afetai Siaulaiga would be the fourth defendant charged in this case. Other co-defendants are Ne’emia Poamo, Sefo Siaulaiga and Migo Misa, who have been sentenced to five years in jail for the death beating of Sio Fauimui of Ili’ili.

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