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Court maintains bail for man who allegedly beat his wife

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man from Vaitogi who allegedly assaulted his wife by repeatedly punching her on the back of her head and on her left arm was remanded to TCF custody last Thursday, after District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea denied a defense motion to release the defendant on his own recognizance.

To protect the identity of the victim, Samoa News is withholding the names of the parties involved.

According to the government's case, police got a call last week, from a woman claiming to have been assaulted by her husband, in the presence of their kids.

Police say when they arrived at the scene, they observed fresh bruises on the woman, who told them that she is "tired of the physical abuse" by her husband.

On the day in question, the man allegedly started yelling profanities inside their home, while the couple's children were present. The wife told police she told her husband to "use his head"and stop being "disrespectful." The woman claims she walked into their bedroom, to avoid her husband. But he "kicked open" their bedroom door and allegedly punched her "repeatedly".

The man was arrested and now charged with private peace disturbance and third degree assault (domestic violence). Judge Patea has transferred the matter to the Family, Drug, and Alcohol (FDA) court and a pretrial conference is set for May 20th.

The man entered pleas of "not guilty" to the two charges against him. According to Judge Patea, this isn't the first time the defendant has appeared in court. As a matter of fact, he has a prior domestic violence case from a few years ago.

Judge Patea maintained bail at $1,000 - cash only. If he is able to pay up, the defendant is ordered to find someplace else to stay while his case is pending. He is also to remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory without prior written permission from the court, and he is not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim (his wife).