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Man in domestic violence case sentenced to probation

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who admitted that he slapped his girlfriend in the face, thereby injuring her eye on Oct. 24, 2017, has been sentenced to 12 months probation.

 Pounoui Gaugau-Tolovae a.k.a. Foluena Lee pled guilty to third degree assault (domestic violence) — a class A misdemeanor — yesterday in Family, Drug, and Alcohol (FDA) court, as part of a plea agreement with the government.

In return, the remaining charge of public peace disturbance was dismissed.

The plea agreement was accepted by the court.

When given the chance to be heard, Gaugau-Tolovae told the court that he has learned his lesson, and it will never happen again.

Attorneys from both sides recommended a probated sentence and counseling.

Judge Fiti Sunia sentenced Gaugau-Tolovae to 12 months probation, and he is ordered to undergo counseling and pay a $150 fine, which will be deducted from his bond.

A probation review is scheduled for May 31.


After several continuances, a trial date for David Teo is finally set for January 31

The case against the defendant was first filed last year in July. He is charged with public peace disturbance and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly threatening to cut his niece with a knife.

According to Samoa News archives, the victim told police that the incident — for which Teo is being charged — was not her first encounter with her uncle. She claims that prior to it, the defendant threatened to assault her dad and kill everyone in their home.


District Court Judge FIti Sunia has sentenced Maria Apulu a.k.a. Maria Apulu Sefo to 6 months probation and she is ordered to pay a $100 fine within 30 days, in addition to undergoing and successfully completing alcohol counseling.

This is after Apulu pled guilty to public peace disturbance under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the court.

In return, the government dismissed the two remaining counts of third degree assault.

With her guilty plea, Apulu admits that last year, while intoxicated, she was making loud noises on the road.

Apulu's defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Anna Wells recommended alcohol counseling and probation in lieu of a jail term, saying her client is a first time offender who "wants to put this behind her."

The prosecutor did not object.

A probation review is set for May 31.