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Court Report



An internal and criminal investigation has been launched against a police officer accused of disturbing the public peace at his ex-wife’s house while on duty, and using the police vehicle to get to the scene. This was confirmed by Acting Police Commissioner Leiseau Laumoli.


“The investigation is underway and this case will be treated like any other case. The investigating officers will gather all the information and witnesses in order to carry out a thorough investigation in this matter," said Laumoli.


“Just because he’s a police officer, does not mean the police will not investigate this matter thoroughly,” he added.


According to the victim’s statement leaked to Samoa News about the alleged incident, the cop was upset about an earlier exchange he had with his ex-wife via email. The cop, who is stationed at the Tafuna West Substation, got into the police vehicle and drove to Pago Pago with another police officer.


It’s alleged the officer, upon arriving at his ex-wife’s house was swearing, and this prompted the woman to contact the police station in Fagatogo for assistance. However before police arrived at the scene, the officer took off in the police vehicle. Efforts to obtain comments from the officer involved were unsuccessful.  




Utu Feo who assaulted her niece with a pipe was fined $500 as part of her two-year probation conditions. Feo was facing a PPD and one count of second degree assault, but she instead pled guilty to PPD and third degree assault, which was amended from the felony assault.


The third degree assault and PPD are both misdemeanors, with each count punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced the defendant to one year in prison, however execution of sentence was suspended and she has been placed on probation for two years under certain conditions.


Feo was ordered to pay a fine of $500, undergo anger management courses and was ordered not to contact the victim directly or indirectly.


According to the government’s case, on Nov. 16, 2011 police received a call from a 19-year-old girl claiming she was assaulted by her aunt with a pipe. The alleged incident occurred in Aua where the defendant resides.


Police spoke with the defendant who admitted to beating the victim with a pipe, because the victim had run away from home for four days.




Two defendants in separate dog bite cases have entered into plea agreements with the government. Ioane Passi and Leneuoti Tuaua are each charged in separate cases, with possession of a vicious animal, a class D felony, which carries a jail term of up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.


Passi pleaded guilty to the amended charge of possession of a vicious animal, a misdemeanor. According to the government’s case, on Sept. 6, 2012 it was reported by a nurse at the LBJ hospital that a young boy was receiving medical treatment following an alleged dog bite in Vatia. The 10-year-old boy told police he was walking with his aunt when he was attacked by two dogs and bitten on the leg. Court filings state that on Sept. 22, 2012 the police along with an employee of the Department of Agriculture seized the dog involved in the incident.


Tuaua, pleaded guilty to the amended charge of possession of a vicious animal, a misdemeanor. The victim told police that she was walking from her house to work when she was attacked by dogs. Court filings state that the victim did not provoke the dogs in any way and she managed to ward off two dogs but the remaining dog bit her on the thigh and a man came out of nowhere and chased the dogs away. Court filings state that on Nov. 27, 2012 police, along with an employee of the Agriculture office apprehended two of the dogs that attacked the victim.


Associate Justice Lyle Richmond has accepted both plea agreements and scheduled sentencing for next month.




Oge Vaisagote of Lauli’i, accused in a sexually related case, denied the charges against him when he was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning. Vaisagote is facing charges of rape, deviate sexual assault, and sexual abuse, and a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.


Vaisagote who’s held on bail of $20,000 is represented by Acting Public Defender, Douglas Fiaui, while prosecuting is Chief Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.


The charges were launched after the police were informed that the 15-year-old victim engaged in sexual intercourse with the 22-year-old. Court filings say the victim told police the defendant took her to his residence in Lauli’i where they had sex in December 2012. 


The defendant corroborated the victim’s side of the story and said he was aware the victim was 15 years of age, but he was not aware that having sexual relations with a girl under the age of 16 years was against the law.