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Man who assaulted his brother-in-law gets probation

American Samoa District Court building
Did it in front of the man’s children

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of assaulting his brother-in-law has been sentenced in District Court to 12 months probation, after he pled guilty to third-degree assault under a plea agreement with the government last week.

When given the chance to address the court, Soli Laupama, who was out on a $200 surety bond, apologized for his actions, and begged for another chance to serve his family.

He also apologized to this brother-in-law and his family and asked for their forgiveness. Laupama told the court that he’s learned his lesson — that breaking the law is not a good thing.

During sentencing last week, the government requested 12 months probation, and this would include the 12 days of pretrial confinement he served before he posted bond.

According to the court, it was last May that Laupama was convicted of private peace disturbance after he got into an argument with his sister. However, seven months after he was sentenced for that crime, Laupama was charged with assaulting his sister’s husband in the presence of the victim’s young children.

The Court noted that it has become a habit for defense and government attorneys to request that pre-trial confinement be included in any court sentence.

It was also noted that of the many assault cases that have come before the court, it’s very rare to see a defendant charged with assaulting a parent in the presence of that person’s children.

As a condition of his 12-month probation, Laupama was ordered to serve 30 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). However, the jail term is deferred based on Laupama’s good behavior.

Laupama is also ordered to pay a fine of $150, remain law abiding, be alcohol and drug free, and lastly, he has to maintain the peace at home for the duration of probation.