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What started as PPD results in assault, meth and sex abuse charges

American Samoa District Court building
Man claims revenge as the reason for assaulting his nephew

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two men were arrested during a public peace disturbance in Futiga two weeks ago and the government is charging them separately. The men are Sepulona Matagi and his wife’s uncle, Filisi Faavae.

Matagi is charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse and two counts of sodomy, both felonies while Faavae is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony, along with one count of 3rd degree assault, one count of endangering of the welfare of a child and one count of private peace disturbance, all misdemeanors.

Matagi’s bail is set at $15,000 while Faavae’s bail is $5,000.


The government alleges that on Oct. 25th, 2020 about 8p.m, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a phone call from a man requesting police assistance at his home in Futiga. The man, who was later identified as Sepulona Matagi, one of the two defendants in this case, told police that his uncle came to his house and assaulted him while he was holding his 2-year-old son.

Several police officers responded to the call and met up with a male individual who was standing on the side of the road in Futiga. The man identified himself to police as the one who requested police assistance — Matagi.

Matagi showed police his injuries and after officers observed blood coming from his left eye, they immediately called EMS personnel for assistance.

When questioned about what happened, Matagi told police that his uncle beat him up inside the house while he was holding his son. According to Matagi, he came home after work around 5:30p.m. and drank his beer at the back of the house while his wife and children were doing the cooking inside the house.

Around 7p.m, his wife called him for dinner and they were eating dinner at the table while listening to music. There were times during dinner that he stood up and danced around the house which made his wife and four young children laugh. His uncle (Faavae) was annoyed and yelled at him from outside the house to stop what he was doing and go to sleep before he does something bad to him.

Matagi told police that Faavae is his wife’s uncle, who lives with his wife and five daughters at another house next to Matagi’s house.

Matagi did not mind Faavae’s harassment but continued to entertain his wife and children by dancing in the middle of the house. Faavae called Matagi a second time and instructed him (Matagi) to turn off his music and go to sleep. This got Matagi mad and he started kicking stuff around the house. Matagi yelled out to Faavae that he has no business trying to control his family nor is he the Sa’o of the family. After a few moments, Matagi went back to the dinner table and continued eating his dinner.

Out of nowhere, while Matagi was eating, he was shocked when Faavae assaulted him, causing Matagi to fall to the floor. While lying on the floor, Faavae kicked Matagi in the back several times before he (Faavae) grabbed a broom handle and struck Matagi on the head.

Matagi was taken to the LBJ Medical Hospital for treatment after he was interviewed by officers at his house.

Faavae was later transported to the TPS for questioning. While Faavae was being transported to the TPS, officers smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from Faavae’s breath. When they arrived at the TPS, Faavae refused to enter the police station. He told officers that what he did to his niece’s husband was right because the man (Matagi) sexually abused his 15-year-old daughter a few months ago and that incident did not sit well with him.

Faavae tried to walk away from police but he was stopped by two other police officers. However, he resisted arrest and continued walking away.

One officer grabbed Faavae in the pants and felt something hard in his rear pocket. He was immediately patted down for any weapons. During the body search, officers discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance in his left rear pocket. The search continued to the front pants pocket where officers found two hand rolled cigarettes containing green leafy substance.

Faavae was immediately arrested and escorted inside the TPS conference room for questioning.

After being Mirandized, Faavae stated to officers that he understood his rights and wished to make a statement about what happened between him and his niece’s husband.

According to Faavae, he loved his niece and her family very much and he treated her, her husband and children like his own children. But ever since the alleged incident happened between Matagi and his 15-year-old daughter a few months ago, where Matagi allegedly entered his house late at night and sexually abused his daughter while she was sleeping inside the living room, everything changed between him and Matagi and the only thing he wanted was revenge.

Faavae admitted assaulting Matagi, as described by Matagi, and when asked about the illegal drugs found in his possession, Faavae admitted that illegal drugs belonged to him.

After the interview, Faavae told investigators that he wanted to file a complaint against Matagi for the alleged sexual abuse against his daughter.

Matagi was brought to the TPS for questioning regarding the alleged sexual abuse complaint and investigators also interviewed the victim regarding the incident.


According to the victim, it was on the night of Apr. 21, 2020 while she was sleeping on the couch in the living room when she felt someone touching her inappropriately. She woke up and saw her brother-in-law (Matagi) standing beside the couch touching her.

The victim asked Matagi what is he was doing and Matagi whispered in her ear not to make any noise because he didn’t want her sisters to know that he was inside the house. According to the victim, she didn’t want to yell because Matagi would get into trouble if her father knew about what he did, so she silently told him to get out of the house. Matagi complied and left the house.

Two days after the first incident, Matagi again entered the victim’s house late at night and again allegedly touched her inappropriately while the victim was sleeping on the couch in the living room. This time, according to the victim’s statement to investigators, Matagi went too far.

The victim said she woke up when she felt pain and saw Matagi sitting beside the couch. She further noticed that her clothes were all removed and she was lying naked on the couch. She then yelled at Matagi to get out of the house.

The next morning, she informed her mother about what happened and here parents called a family meeting with Matagi and his wife where Matagi apologized about what happened and promised that he would not do it again.

When questioned by investigators, Matagi admitted to the allegations and immediately apologized for his action. He told investigators that the victim invited him to come in the house.