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Facebook status post lands mother and her 2 daughters in jail

Facebook app on a smart phone screen

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Facebook status post by a woman and her two daughters has landed all of them in jail after they were arrested for disturbing the public peace in their neighborhood.

(A Facebook status is an update feature, which allows users to discuss their thoughts, whereabouts, or important information with their friends. Similar to a tweet on the social networking site Twitter, a status is usually short and generally gives information without going into too much detail.)

It was the mother, defendant Vaimalo Tuaniu, who contacted police for assistance, however, after police interviewed all parties involved, Tuaniu and her two daughters were arrested and later charged.

Tuaniu, along with her two daughters, S.F (17 years old) and G.T (13 years old), appeared in Court last month for their initial appearances.

The mother appeared before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea, while her two daughters appeared in Juvenile Court.

Tuaniu is charged with one count of abuse of a child, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, along with 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.

Bail for Tuaniu is set at $5,000.


The government claims that on May 30, 2022, Tuaniu contacted the Leone Police Substation (LPS) for assistance stating that a woman and her 15-year-old daughter were causing a public peace disturbance at their residence.

Several police officers immediately responded to the call and met up with Tuaniu at the scene, where she directed police officers to the residence where officers observed a 15-year-old girl (now identified as Victim #1) crying while her mother (identified as Victim #2) was standing next to her trying to calm her down.

Officers asked Victim #1 why she was crying and she replied that Tuaniu had put up a status post on Facebook about her mother and when she went with her mother to Tuaniu’s house to speak to her, Tuaniu and her two daughters assaulted her.

The two victims were interviewed first by officers, while Tuaniu and her daughters were told to wait at their house.

According to Victim #2, her daughter showed her a Facebook status post Tuaniu put up on social media. She then asked her daughter to come with her to Tuaniu’s residence to discuss the reason why she posted it on social media.

They went to Tuaniu’s house and requested a chance to speak with her about the status post but Tuaniu chased them away, saying that she didn’t want to talk to them.

According to Victim #2 (the mother), they continued to stand outside of Tuaniu’s residence because they wanted an answer from her about her status post. However, she and her daughter were assaulted while they were standing outside doing nothing.

Victim #2 said S.F walked over and slapped her in the chest while Tuaniu made her way outside and punched her daughter (Victim #1).

Victim #1 was also interview by police regarding the alleged incident in the presence of her mother. According to her statement, she stated that she went with her mother to Tuaniu’s house to ask them if they could talk, but Tuaniu chased them away.

Victim #1 confirmed what her mother had told investigators including that both of Tuaniu’s daughters — S.F and G.T —  were punching and kept scratching her face while their mother was assaulting her mother. The fighting was stopped by her father.

Tuaniu, along with her two daughters were then apprehended at their house and transported to the LPS for further investigation.

They were Mirandized where they stated that they understood their rights and agreed to speak with investigators.

According to Tuaniu, both victims came to her house and asked if they could talk about the status post on social media but she tried to chase them away saying that she didn’t want to talk, but they were still standing there instead of leaving.

She explained that her daughters, G.T and S.F were verbally arguing with both victims, and they ended up fighting with both victims — so she hopped in and tried to stop them.

G.T told investigators that she punched Victim #1 in the mouth after both victims refused to leave their house after her mother instructed them to leave.

S.T also admitted to investigators that she punched Victim #2 after a brief argument with her for failure to leave their house after they were instructed to do so by her mother.

EMS was requested to treat Victim #1 because she had several scratches on her neck, chest and face.

Tuaniu and her two daughters were transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) where they were booked and confined, awaiting their court appearances.