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Jonathan Fanene arrested, charged for domestic violence — again

Former Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs (DYWA) director, Jonathan Fanene

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Former Department of Youth and Women’s Affairs (DYWA) director, Jonathan Fanene was - again - arrested over the weekend for a domestic violence incident involving his wife.

Fanene, who has a pending case in High Court for the same allegation, made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea yesterday morning. Private attorney Marcellus Talaimalo Uiagalelei is representing Fanene, who is released on a $1,000 cash bond.

Fanene is charged with 3 misdemeanors, all domestic violence-related.

Patea ordered Fanene not to make any physical contact with the victim or her family, until his case is resolved.

During initial appearance, UIagalelei informed the court that his client’s motion to travel was granted by the High Court last week. According to the defense attorney, Fanene is scheduled to depart Monday night (last night), and return no later than Jan. 23, 2020.

Judge Patea told Uiagalelei to inform his client that he has to comply with the travel arrangements set up by the High Court.

Pretrial conference is Feb. 19th, 2020.

When asked about the status of the defendant’s matter in High Court, Uiagalelei said both parties are still negotiating a plea bargain. However, a trial date is now being set.


Fanene was arrested in June of last year on the allegation that he used a pipe, golf club, and broom handle to assault his wife and sister over allegations that he had an extra-marital affair while on a trip to Hawaii.

For that case, Fanene is facing 13 criminal charges and is out on a $100,000 surety bond. One of the conditions of Fanene’s release on bond was that he remain law abiding and make no contact with the victim, which is his wife.