Man arrested for allegedly assaulting girlfriend in church
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Junior Falefata of Vailoa has been arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend while in church and throwing a rock at his father. He is facing 4 criminal charges
Public Peace Disturbance, a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for 6 months, a fine of $500, but not less than $150, or both.
Assault in the third degree that occurred on Oct. 29, 2023, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of $1000, but not less than $150, or both.
Assault in the third degree that occurred on Oct. 28, 2023, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of $1000, but not less than $150, or both.
Assault in the third degree that occurred on Oct. 29, 2023 for throwing a rock at his father, a class C misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to 15 days, a fine of $300, but not less than $150, or both.
Bail is set at $1,000.
On October 29, 2023, at around 1 pm, the Tafuna Police Substation received a call from Mr. Siataga Falefata reporting that his son had assaulted his girlfriend while in church. Police responded immediately, going to Mr. Falefata’s (the father’s) house.
Police met up with the girlfriend there, and she told them that while they were in church, her boyfriend had punched her in the head, causing her to tumble towards her boyfriend’s mother, who was sitting next to her. The victim told police that Junior accused her of looking at the men in church. “When she told him that she was not, he told her ‘[swear word] aua eke pepelo!’ (…stop lying!).”He got up and walked out of church.”
The victim said she then grabbed her daughter (6 years old) and led her outside. The father followed and asked his son what happened, but Junior “grabbed a rock… and threw it at his father.”
The girlfriend further told police that on October 28, 2023, while she was with her boyfriend in their room, “he accused her of having an affair”, and physically struck her. She said that he has been mistreating her since last year (2022) and that “she regrets being in a relationship with him.”
Junior’s father, during an interview with police, said he did not see exactly what happened, but heard someone yelling later and saw that it was his son. He said he asked his son what happened, but instead his son threw a rock at him — it missed him, but struck his car. However, there was no damage to the car.
Junior’s mother was also interviewed and collaborated what her son’s girlfriend had said happened, adding that her son is “very jealous and this was not the first time he has done this to the victim.”
The parents of the defendant told police that they would notify them the minute he returns home. The victim and her daughter were then taken to TPS and referred to the Social Services, where they were later transported to the shelter.
On Oct. 30, 2023, Junior and his mother walked into the TPS. The mother stated that a social worker had relayed via phone that the victim would like to return home, and in order for that to happen, Junior could not be there at the house.
The mother said, “as much as it hurts her to turn her son over to the police, she would rather have the victim living with her, because this will also teach her son a valuable lesson and hopefully put an end to this abuse.”
Junior was Mirandized and agreed to make a statement. He said he was jealous when he saw his girlfriend “staring at the men in church, so he punched her.” He added that “he was remorseful and vowed to never do it again.”
A third witness, who had been in the church at the time of the assault, also collaborated what had been related by the girlfriend.
The defendant was booked and taken the Tafuna Correctional Facility until the next sitting of the District Court.
Mr. Junior Falefata is a US national and is 18 years old.