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Tafuna man pleads guilty to second-degree assault

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man from Tafuna with a long criminal history entered into a plea bargain with the government last week in High Court.

Viliamu Orepa, who is on probation, was initially charged with resisting arrest and second-degree assault, both felonies, along with 3 misdemeanors: two counts of third degree assault, and public peace disturbance.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Orepa pled guilty to second-degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Orepa admits that on Nov. 29, 2017 in Tafuna he assaulted a man by punching him in the face and striking his head with an empty beer bottle. According to terms of the plea agreement, on the day of the incident, police responded to a call from someone in the Tafuna area, requesting assistance regarding a disturbance.

When cops arrived, an unknown male who was later identified as Orepa, yelled profanities at them and asked them to leave the area. Another man — later identified as the victim in this case — tried to stop Orepa from fleeing the scene.

Orepa turned around and punched him twice.

The victim fell and that’s when Orepa grabbed an empty beer bottle and struck him on the head while he was lying unconscious on the ground.

The victim sustained serious injuries to his head.

In 2016, the High Court placed Orepa on probation for five years, after he was convicted of felony driving and resisting arrest. As a condition of probation, Orepa was ordered to serve 20 months at the TCF and remain law-abiding.

Orepa admits that his actions in this recent incident, violated conditions of his 2016 probation.

Orepa, who is still in custody unable to post a $5,000 cash bond, is scheduled to appear in court next month for sentencing and a disposition hearing.