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Man allegedly admits to assaulting his nephew, “to teach him a lesson”

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 43-year-old man accused of assaulting his 14-year-old nephew was arrested and he’s now being charged. When questioned by police, the defendant, Ieremia Salesa stated that he did this to teach his nephew a lesson.

Salesa appeared in Court last month for his initial appearance.

Salesa is charged with one count of abuse of a child (involving domestic violence), a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, but not less than $150, or both.

Bail is set at $10,000.

If he posts bond, Salesa was ordered by the court to find another place to stay and to not have any direct or indirect contact with the victim and his family.


On Feb. 9, 2022 at about 8:36p.m, several police officers answered a call in Tafuna on an unrelated incident, and as responding officers were about to leave the scene, they heard a loud scream that sounded like a person in danger and in need of help, from approximately 45 feet from where they were.

Officers were notified by a bystander that the loud scream was coming from the area close to the store ahead of them.

They proceeded to the location next to the store where the loud screaming was coming from and they met up with a young boy while other officers met up with a male individual by the name of Ieremia Salesa, who was later identified as the defendant in this matter.

The young boy was later identified as the 14-year-old victim in this case.

Officers conducted a field interview of the victim and quickly observed that the victim was shaking and shivering in fear, at the same time trying to explain what happened.

The victim told officers that he went with Salesa to buy a tank of gas. Salesa resides with the victim’s family.

According the victim’s statement, Salesa slapped him in the face inside the store numerous times while he was trying to push him away but Salesa continued to assault him.

When they got outside the store, the victim stated that Salesa took him next to the store where there was no surveillance and choked him with his bare hands while punching him in the face. In addition, Salesa pushed him to the ground and stepped on his stomach, while at the same time continuing to slap him in the face.

The victim told the officers that he doesn’t know what triggered the assault. He said he begged Salesa to stop but Salesa continued to slap him in the face. He tried very hard to push Salesa’s hand from his neck while he was choking him.

A female adult, who was present when the incident happened told officers that she heard a scream and walked towards it, and saw Salesa slapping and choking the victim with his bare hands. The witness stated she tried to stop Salesa and that is when officers arrived.

Another witness, a man, told officers, he was standing in the middle of the store when he saw Salesa and the victim enter. He said he knew Salesa and the victim as they’re from the same village.

While he was shopping, the male witness said he saw Salesa slap the victim in the face. He also saw Salesa push the victim outside of the store.

Salesa was apprehended and later transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning where he was Mirandized and made a statement to police.

Salesa admitted assaulting his nephew, because he wanted to teach him a lesson for showing him (Salesa) a bad attitude.