Village bans teacher and Vice-Principal
The village of Leulumoega-tuai has banished a teacher and Vice-Principal from St. Paul VI College, who have been accused of committing sexual offences, against a female student.
Paulo Ieremia, the teacher, has been charged with rape.
The Vice Principal, Petelo Samaila, is facing a charge of indecent assault in relation to a sex case which involves a female Year 12 student.
Prior to the ban, both men were penalised with $2,000 fines and conducted an ifoga (traditional apology).
The village mayor of Leulumoega Tuai, who declined to provide his name, confirmed that both of the accused had been residents.
“Although they have been living in our village long enough, a mistake is a mistake and the village decided to fine and punish them for doing this to such a young girl,” he said.
“For a village that is commonly and traditionally known as one of the leading villages (for peacemaking) in Samoa, we are very ashamed of what these two [men] have done.”
The Ali’i ma faipule or village council is yet to seek the forgiveness of the family of the victim, who are residents of Manono, as well as forgiveness from the village.
The Leulumoega mayor said the victim, her family and her village need time to heal before any approach is made.
Both of the accused had been suspended from the school and are set to appear in court, according to the Assistant Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Ve'atauia Fa'atasi Puleiata.
“Paulo and Petelo will both appear in court on 11 August, 2020; they are remanded out on bail and are ordered to sign in at the police station,” she said.
The teacher and the victim are alleged to have gone into an abandoned house and had sex after school concluded.
The Vice-Principal is alleged to have then showed up and continued to assault the student by touching her chest.
The village of Leulumoega village council will, in November, vote on whether to allow the men to return.