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Mother and son arrested for allegedly assaulting son’s wife

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A mother and her son from Nu’uuli were arrested by police last week on the allegation that the mother assisted her son in assaulting his wife.

The mother, Leafa Taufete’e, a.k.a Eseta Taufete’e and her son, Akemo Taufete’e made their initial appearance before District Court Judge Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde last week.

The mother and her son are each charged with one count of felonious restraint, a class C felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to seven years, a find of $5,000, or both, and one count of 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of $1,000, or both.

The court set bail for each defendant at $5,000.

Preliminary examination is scheduled for this week.


On Sept. 6, 2021 about 7:09 p.m, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a woman asking for assistance regarding her husband, who allegedly assaulted her. The caller was later identified as the victim in this case and her husband, one of the co-defendants.

Several police officers responded to the scene and met up with the victim and immediately interviewed her on the road.

According to the victim, she was about to leave the house to pick up her son from her older sister when on her way to the door, her husband allegedly grabbed her hand and pulled her back into the room.

The victim told cops that is when a verbal argument erupted between her and her husband, which included her husband allegedly slapping her two times in her face. That’s when the victim called out to her neighbors for help and her husband’s mother (co-defendant) walked in and just watched her get beat up by her son (husband).

The victim told investigators that she got out of the house when her husband let her go but she was stopped by her husband’s mother. The victim tried to call the police station for assistance but her husband’s mother grabbed her phone from her hand and told her to keep quiet.

The victim kept on telling her husband’s mother to give back her phone to call the police but her husband’s mother refused to give it back. The husband’s mother told her son (husband) to take her (victim) back in the house. According to the victim, both her husband and her mother tried to carry her back in the house but she resisted and tried to fight back to set herself free.

That is when the victim’s husband’s mother allegedly slapped the victim from behind. The victim got up from the ground and carried her 1-year old daughter with her but her husband’s mother forcefully took her daughter away from her (the victim).

Both defendants then teamed up and tried to take the victim in the house again. While the victim was outside the house, she begged the neighbors to please contact the police because she needed help but the victim’s husband’s mother told the neighbors to not call the police.

After interviewing the victim, investigators proceeded to the defendant’s house and apprehended both defendants and transported them to the TPS for further investigation.

The victim’s husband’s mother was Mirandized, and she told investigators that she understood her rights and would answer questions regarding the incident.

She admitted to investigators that she helped her son to take his wife (victim) in the house but the victim resisted. She also admitted to taking the phone away from the victim. She said that her son grabbed the victim and took her inside the house while the victim was crying out for help and resisting.

The victim’s husband was also Mirandized, and also agreed to speak with investigators about the incident.

According to the husband’s statement to police, he was mad at his wife (victim) because she was talking about his sister’s children, and that’s why everything escalated between them.

He said that he slapped his wife in her face, took her into the house while she was yelling out for help. He also admitted the he did tell his mother to take the phone away from his wife while his wife was trying to contact the police for help. Furthermore, he also admitted that he told his mother to help him carry his wife inside the house.

Investigators also questioned several witnesses regarding this incident. One witness told investigators that he knew the family involved in the incident. He stated that he saw the mother and her son beating up the victim while the victim was crying out for help. The witness walked over to the woman and her son and asked them what was going on, and the woman told him it was nothing big, they are just trying to take her in the house so that they could talk it out.

Another witness echoed the first witness’ statement. When he approached the woman and her son and asked them about what’s going on at their residence, the woman responded by saying, “oh, not a big deal”.

Both defendants were later transported to the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) where they were booked and confined.