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Judge laments number of domestic violence cases showing up in his courtroom

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A domestic violence case came before District Court last week for sentencing and District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea told the male defendant that he court doesn’t take these cases lightly.

He told the defendant that a week doesn’t go by without these cases coming before the court.

“It’s important that defendants learn their lesson from the sentence handed down in these domestic violence cases,” said Patea.

In the latest case last week, the defendant, who is a 46-year-old man from Samoa, who has lived in the territory for over 20 with his wife and 4 children was convicted of misdemeanor third degree assault, while a second misdemeanor count of public peace disturbance was dismissed.

According to court records, the defendant slapped his wife in the face in front of his 12-year-old daughter and his mother-in-law. He also kicked his wife’s back while she was lying on the floor.

The defendant told the court that an argument between him and his wife started when he was putting away his wallet in the area where his clothes are kept, which caused his wife to be suspicious that he was trying to hide something from her.

His wife confronted him and immediately a verbal argument between the couple started, which ended up with the defendant assaulting his wife.

The defendant told the court that he pushed his wife out of his way, but the government responded that the defendant slapped his wife in front of his mother-in-law and his daughter, which resulted in his mother-in-law calling the police for help.

The defendant was sentenced to 45 days imprisonment, and the 39 days that the defendant spent in jail since his arrest was counted towards the jail term. The court also ordered the defendant to pay a fine of $135.