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Beating in school gym leads to indictment

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A former Hawaiian Mission Academy employee could get 10 years in prison for an alleged assault that occurred in the school’s gymnasium last year.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment this week charging Schoen Ulisese Safotu with first-degree assault.

Church members were using the gym on July 4, 2009, when a boy set off the fire alarm, said Lynn Hodgson Park, deputy prosecutor.

Safotu, the school’s dormitory dean, athletics director and a teacher, was angry at being called to fix the alarm and told the boy’s father it would cost $500 to reset it.

The father offered to pay the $500, but "the defendant just got madder and punched him full-on in the jaw and mouth," Park said.

She said Safotu continued to punch and choke the man after the man had fallen to the floor.

The man suffered permanent injury and is being evaluated for brain and neurological damage, Park said.

 

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