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Court Report: Woman serves time for assault with a golf club

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young woman convicted of assaulting another woman with a golf club is going to jail. Aerial Lolagi Siaulaiga was ordered to serve 20 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) as a condition of her 5-year-probation, despite a request by the prosecutor for a maximum sentence.

Siaulaiga, who has been in custody since her arrest in the beginning of this year appeared before Acting Associate Justice, Elvis P. Patea this week for sentencing, after being convicted of 2nd- degree assault, a class D felony.

When given the chance to speak, Siaulaiga apologized for her actions and begged for a second chance to return home to care for her family.

She also apologized to the victim and her family for the harm she caused.

The defense attorney asked for a probated sentence saying his client is truly remorseful for her actions and she has learned her lesson.

The prosecutor disagreed with the defense’s request for a probated sentence.

According to the prosecutor, the defendant is a bully who assaulted another young woman using a dangerous instrument, and went on to say the defendant was mad at the victim after she found out the victim was talking to her boyfriend.

Bullying is not acceptable in this community, according to the government’s attorney, and a person who engages in this type of action must be kept away from the community. Therefore, the prosecutor asked the court to sentence the defendant to the maximum penalty of 5 years.

After reviewing facts of the case, the Court sentenced Siaulaiga to 5 years probation subject to the usual conditions including a fine of $2,000.

Siaulaiga will serve 12 months after she was credited with the 8 months she served during her pretrial detention.

Upon release from detention, the court ordered the defendant to seek and secure gainful employment.


A young woman convicted of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) was released from the TCF this week after the Court ruled the 182 days she had spent in custody while awaiting trial was sufficient punishment.

Sweetie Roselena Tufele appeared in Court this week for sentencing. She has been in custody since May 2, 2022, unable to post a $5,000 bond.

Tufele pled guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of meth, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

When given the chance to address the court, Tufele apologized for her actions and asked for another chance to go back home to seek employment and be with her family.

She said she used drugs for fun, not knowing that there is negative impact to her actions. Now, she has spent almost 200 days of her life in prison and she’s realizes that the life she lived before she was arrested was not the right path for her.

Both parties requested a probated sentence saying Tufele was a suitable candidate for a probated sentence and she deserved a second chance.

The court sentenced Tufele to 5 years probation subject to the usual conditions, including serving 20 months detention.

She was credited for the 182 days she served while awaiting the outcome of her case. The balance was stayed based on her good behavior. Tufele was released from custody forthwith.

The court is giving Tufele 60 days to seek and secure gainful employment.


A man accused of growing marijuana in back of his home has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Kalolo Siaosi, who has been in custody since his arrest last year, appeared in Court this week for his change of plea hearing.

Siaosi, 52, in a plea agreement, accepted by the court, pled guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

By his guilty plea, Siaosi admits that on Apr. 13, 2021, he unlawfully possessed marijuana at his home. He explained he planted 3 marijuana plants behind his house and his action on that day was against the law.

Siaosi was remanded back into custody awaiting his sentencing which is scheduled for Dec. 1.


A man was arrested and charged for violating local drug laws after police allegedly discovered drugs in his possession during a traffic stop last year.

According to the government, Malaki Afasene had been considered by police as a Person of Interest (POI) for many months, under the suspicion that he’s involved in drug dealing. His vehicle was frequently seen at a house of another person who is also considered by police as a POI.

The government alleges that on Oct. 20, 2022, officers in the Tafuna area conducted a traffic stop on a black pickup truck for a traffic violation. The driver of the vehicle was later identified as Malaki Afasene, the defendant in this matter. Afasene, along with his wife and two men were inside the vehicle when police pulled it over.

Afasene’s vehicle was allegedly observed with no lights on the back license plate. The vehicle was also traveling at a high rate of speed.

After pulling the vehicle over, officers approached the driver and informed  him of the reason for the stop and asked him for his driver’s license. He gave police his driver’s license, which had expired three years earlier.

While traffic officers were speaking to Afasene, the DPS Vice and Narcotics/K9 Unit arrived at the scene and conducted a search around the vehicle for illegal drugs. According to the government, investigators asked Afasene for his consent to search his vehicle after a K9 dog showed interest in the driver’s side of the vehicle.

After Afasene denied the police request officers informed Afasene that due to the fact he did not have a valid driver’s license they would impound his vehicle and he would be transported to the TPS for further investigation.

Afasene was handcuffed as part of his arrest, and while police were removing the handcuffs at the TPS, the officer observed that Afasene was holding something in his hand; and when he opened his hand, police saw two glass pipes containing a white crystalline substance.

The white crystalline substance was tested and the results turned out positive for methamphetamine.

Police conducted a body search on Afasene and nothing was found. An inventory search was conducted on the vehicle and again, nothing was found.

When asked about the two glass pipes containing meth, Afasene admitted to police that they belonged to him.

Police records show that Afasene was involved in another matter also involving drugs that happened a few months back and a police investigation was in progress. For that reason, Afasene was released to go home while police continued with their investigation into that matter.

Afasene’s wife and the two men inside the vehicle during the traffic stop were released at the scene before Afasene and his vehicle were transported to the TPS.

Afasene was arrested last month after the court issued an arrest warrant and he has made his initial appearance.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of meth, an unclassified felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine up to $20,000, or both.

Bail is set at $5,000.

Nothing was mentioned in the court affidavit about the other matter with which Afasene was allegedly involved.


A man who was arrested for PPD and later found with illegal drugs has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Aleki Vaa appeared in court this week for a pretrial conference; however, when his case was called, the court was told that Vaa had reached an agreement with the government.

Vaa, under a plea agreement with the government — accepted by the court — pled guilty to an amended, lesser charge of unlawful possession of marijuana, a class D felony carrying a possible sentence of up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

With his guilty pled, Vaa admits that on the evening of Aug. 13, 2021 at his home in Iliili, he had on him, three hand rolled marijuana joints when police arrested him for PPD.

According to terms of the plea agreement, several cops responded to a peace disturbance in Vaitogi on the night in question. Vaa was present when police pulled up. He was yelling profanities at his neighbor while holding a beer bottle in his right hand.

Vaa was apprehended at the scene and placed inside a police unit for safety reasons, before he was transported to the TPS for questioning.

During a body search, police discovered three hand rolled marijuana cigarettes on Vaa, who explained that the joints belonged to him, and he bought it from a man identified as “Riley” in Tafuna.

Vaafusuaga will be sentenced in December.


A man who was ordered to pay $725.24 in restitution for tools he stole from his neighbor, is asking the court to give him five months to pay it in full.

Naasona Faasolo appeared in court last month for an Order to Show Cause (OSC) hearing, for failing to comply with conditions of his 7-year probation, which was handed down in 2019 after he was convicted of stealing.

As a condition of probation, Faasolo was ordered to pay restitution and a $1,000 fine, and also find a job and visit Probation monthly. But according to Probation, Faasolo has only paid $150 of his fine and $200 in restitution.

Faasolo told the court he didn't pay his fine and restitution in full because he has been unable to find a job. He said he was hired by a local construction company in 2020, however, he was terminated 6 months later, after the company owner found out he had been convicted of stealing.

According to Faasolo, he used some of the money he earned in that 6 months to pay part of his fine and restitution, but the rest went to support his family.

He begged the court to give him five months to pay off the balance, adding that he has a plantation and it's been two months since he started selling taro, banana, and vegetables at the market to earn money for his family and help pay his fine and restitution.

The defense attorney said he has explained to his client the seriousness of not complying with the court’s order, and the consequences he may face if he doesn't do as he is told.

The court granted Faasolo’s request, and has given him four months to pay his outstanding fine and restitution.

Faasolo was reminded that once the court revokes his probation, he will have no chances left, and he will have to serve the suspended period of imprisonment, which is 5 years.


Under a plea agreement, Faasolo pled guilty to stealing, a class C felony, and the remaining charges of first-degree burglary, trespass, and third-degree property damage were dismissed.

He was sentenced to 7 years and a fine of $1,000. But the execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for 7 years, subject to certain conditions. He was to serve 28 months; however, he only served 12 months and the balance of 16 months was suspended.

Faasolo burglarized his neighbor’s home in Ottoville after he damaged the back door, entered the home late at night, and stole several power-tools that were inside the garage.