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Woman warned not to leave island again while her case is pending

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young woman told the court last month that the reason she missed two court hearings was because she traveled to Samoa to visit her sick father.The court then informed the young woman that she’s not allowed to leave the territory while her court case is still pending.

Cathy Upuese appeared in court last month, pursuant to a bench warrant signed by the court, after failure to appear in court twice.

When Upuese’s case was called, the court was informed by her defense attorney that his client traveled off island to visit her sick father in January of this year.

When the court asked the defendant on her whereabouts during her last two hearings, Upuese said she traveled to Samoa to visit her sick father. She also told the court she didn’t know she was not allowed to travel off-island as one of the conditions of her release, unless by order from the court.

“So, now you understand. You are not allowed to leave the territory while your matter is pending. Speak to your attorney but remember, make all of your court appearances and do not leave the territory,” the court advised Upuese.

Upuese is charged with one count of third degree assault, one count of resisting arrest, and one count of third degree property damage, all class A misdemeanors.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred around October of 2019 when Upuese engaged in a fight with two women, where she assaulted both of them by allegedly punching one in the face multiple times and kicking the other in the back and stomach.

Upuese fled the scene when police arrived and ran inside her home. When police tried to handcuff her, she resisted arrest.

According to the government’s case, both victims sustained minor injuries as a result of the alleged beating by the defendant.