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Samoa Court Report


Apia, SAMOA — A 24-year-old male from Vaiusu and Aele — an inmate at the Tafa’igata Prison — has escaped from police custody as of last week. This was confirmed by Samoa’s Police Spokesperson, Su’a LeMamea Tiumalu during the weekly police press conference. He said it’s unclear as to how he escaped but what’s certain is that he’s been seen by members of the public who have been reporting the matter back to police.

The inmate, Aniseko Vaelei has been labeled as dangerous for he was behind bars for robbery and burglary. A hotel owner has posted on his Facebook page labeling Aniseko as dangerous for breaking and entering and noting that prisoner tried to check into the hotel, and he managed to run off with a few valuables of a guest who was staying at the hotel. “I ask that if you find him or see of him PM me and I will personally come and collect him. I need him alive and well. I have my team standing by to skin him alive. Be safe my neighbors,” posted the hotel owner.

The hotel owner was unhappy with the response by the correction officers who went to the hotel following the incident last week. “It’s as if they were not correction officers in their dress code and were not aware of any specific details as to the inmate in question and also they did not carry photos of the inmate on them when they went to the hotel,” he said. In the meantime, the hotel owner is offering a reward to anyone who has information on the whereabouts of the inmate.


Apia, SAMOA — Ioane Esekia convicted of rape, assault and sodomy has been sentenced to eight years in jail in connection with raping his neighbor who is a 12-year-old girl.

According to the police summary of facts, the victim’s father returned home after fishing and instructed the victim to take their catch to be stored inside the fridge belonging to the defendant’s family. When the victim arrived at the house, she could not wake the defendant’s father and so Esekia came along and took the catch to be stored in their fridge and the victim returned home.

The defendant however followed the victim and came from behind and covered her face tightly with a towel.  He grabbed her hand and pulled her into a bushy area. The victim tried to scream but the accused squeezed the towel tightly onto her face. Once in the bushy area, the accused laid the victim down, and had oral sex with her and then he raped her.

When the victim heard her father calling she screamed, but the defendant closed her mouth with the towel. However the victim managed to pull the towel away and continued screaming and the defendant took off running. The matter was then reported to the police.

The probation report says that according to the victim’s mother, there has been no reconciliation. Probation points to this as indicating his lack of remorse for what he has done.

He told the Court that he was intoxicated at the time of the offending, but “that is no excuse for his behavior,” said Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren who handed down the sentencing for the defendant.

According to the victim’s impact report,             the victim is 12-years-old said she was terrified because she knew that the defendant was committing an offense and that she was crying during the incident because she felt pain on her private parts. The victim further says in her report that the defendant has not apologized for what he did and she does not forgive him.

Tafaoimalo says that the aggravating features of this offending are firstly, the age of the victim as the younger the victim of a sexual offense the greater the need for protection. The court also noted that the offending was premeditated. “The defendant told Probation that he was sexually attracted to the victim when she came to store fish in his family’s refrigerator because he had watched pornographic videos earlier.

Tafaoimalo sentenced the defendant to eight years and eight months in jail for the count of rape; regarding  assault with intent to commit sexual violation, the defendant was sentenced to four years imprisonment and for the remaining count of unlawful sexual connection, the defendant was sentenced to four years imprisonment and that all sentences to be concurrent. The court also issued a suppression order on the publication of the name of the victim and any details that might identify her, however the suppression order does not relate to the defendant.


Apia, SAMOA — A delivery truck driver has been sentenced to a suspended 12 months jail term in connection with stealing bags of diapers from Chan Mow Wholesale, valued at $780WST. According to the police summary of facts the defendant on June 15, 2016, following his delivery, took eight bags of Pampers from the company container and put them into his own car. The property was recovered as a result of police investigation into the third party to whom the defendant has sold the diapers.

The court noted that Iefata Tafale, 52, a father of four, was terminated as a result of this offending. He has not apologized to the employer, says the police report.  Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren stated that the defendant completed the six weeks program for drugs and alcohol with probation because he told the court that the offending was for the purpose of getting beer.

He received a certificate of completion and a good report from the case manager/program facilitator. The court noted the defendant breached the trust placed in him by his employer by taking goods belonging to his employer where he worked for two years. “The accused had worked there for two years and some loyalty to the employer was expected.”

The court also took into consideration that the defendant addressed the cause of his offending, which is the pursuit of alcohol, through his participation in the alcohol and drugs program. Apart from this offending, he has an untarnished record.

“However it is important that the accused know that his conviction will hang over him for the rest of his life, and given his conviction for theft as a servant, employers will be put on notice and be weary of hiring him. The accused may well discover that finding employment will be difficult. This will no doubt have a huge impact on his family and his ability to provide for his family.”

Tafaoimalo  imposed a non-custodial sentence and is ordered to come up again in 12 months. If he has reoffended within that time, he will be sentenced on this offense and any others he commits.