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Court Report



One of the two men who broke into a Pavaia’i store in June 2012 and removed $475 cash was sentenced to 20 months in jail as part of his five years probation.


Samuelu Sae was charged with first degree burglary and stealing, however he pled guilty to the amended charge of attempted stealing, a lesser charge, and upon his plea of guilt, the government moved to dismiss the burglary count. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement in this matter.


During sentencing on Friday, the defendant admitted that during the evening hours of June 3, 2012 he along with his co-defendant John Ioane broke into the Samumalu Sales Store by breaking the front door. The defendant, Sae took $475 in cash.


During the plea deal last month, Richmond noted the defendant must agree to pay restitution to the victim for the cash taken and testify in trial against a third co-defendant Gabriel Tinai, who was the watchman in this case.


On Friday the defendant apologized for his actions and asked the court for another chance so he can return home to care for his family and serve his church. He further apologized to the victim in this case.


According to the Associate Justice, this is not the first time the defendant has come before the court on similar conduct and the court had, in fact, given the defendant a chance before. With this second encounter, its appears to the court the defendant has not learned a lesson from the consequences of his previous criminal acts, said the judge.


Richmond sentenced the defendant to five years in jail, however the court suspended the imposition of sentence under the condition that Sae serve 20 months and will be credited for the 13 months he’s already served.


Sae was also ordered not to be in contact with his co-defendants or enter the store in which the crime was committed, and must remain a law abiding citizen.




A 55 year old man charged in connection with a sexually related case has entered into a plea agreement with the government. The defendant is charged with three counts of statutory rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse first degree. According to the signed plea agreement, the defendant is to enter a guilty plea to sexual assault and upon his plea of guilt, the government has moved for the court to dismiss the remaining charges.


According to the signed plea agreement the defendant had sex with a 15-year-old girl. Misionare has agreed that upon his plea of guilt, he will leave the island and serve the remainder of his jail sentence outside of American Samoa.




Chief Justice Michael Kruse has scheduled sentencing for Afa Te’o on Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2014 after he was found guilty of public peace disturbance. He was acquitted of the much more serious charge of second degree assault in a trial which went on for three days before a jury of five women and one man. The government accused Te’o of attempting to strike a police officer with a tire iron when the police were responding to a PPD matter last year.