Teacher accused of having sexual relations with student

The government has filed felony charges against a former Leone High School high school music teacher in accused of having sexual relations with a 17 year old student.

Elijah Jared Tavai appeared in the District Court this morning on charges of patronizing prostitution, child abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

The defendant, represented by private attorney Talalelei Marcellus Uiagalelei, waived his rights to a preliminary hearing and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges against him.

His pre-trial conference is set for Friday.

Tavai’s attorney confirmed during the hearing that his client has posted bail of $5,000.

Families and friends of the defendant packed the District Court room during this morning’s proceedings.

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia ordered that the defendant not make direct or indirect contact with the victim.

The allegations against the defendant surfaced towards the end of the last school year, when a teacher contacted victims advocate Mrs Ipu Lefiti after the teached informed the principal at the time, and no action was taken.  failed to investigate.

Mrs Leifit informed director of education dr, Ruth amatgi Tofiga and police were notified.

Aboyt the same time the teacher left for off island for several months but returned to the territory before the beginning of the current school year,

He is no longer teaching at Leone High School but is still an employee of DOE. ‘

The case was brought up in hearings of the Senate Education Committee more than once .


  1. shameful deeds, shameful exposure

    I love the way the court room was packed with family, friends and supporters of the “alleged” sex offender. Talofa i si victim. I give much credit to this kid who was disadvantaged from the beginning. That’s why sex offenders get away with their perversions. After all who will believe a kid against a teacher whose parents are famous prominent ministers of the Holy Bible?

  2. stop it already

    This is the REAL HIDDEN PROBLEM with having malas teach children at DOE. The great majority of them are just “too thristy” for our young naive male children. E tua ova le sasau fia ai male le mafaufau i fanau pele a isi tagata!

  3. 17 is the legal age of consent

    Um if he is 17 years old and consented to the sex, then this is not a big deal….if the true facts come out that the student was 17 at the time of theses encounters…..then the case will eventually be dismissed. ..talanei, I know you guys already know the law on this…so that would only mean the alleged crime happened when the student was 16….and that’s where the prosecution will focus on.


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