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American Samoa Gov’t; Rees v.

SIMEAATI REES, Appellant,

v.

AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT, Appellee.

High Court of American Samoa
Appellate Division

AP No. 24-79

November 28, 1980

__________

In prosecution of driver for act of passenger government need not prove that driver knew part of passenger extended beyond interior of vehicle.

Before MIYAMOTO, Chief Justice, presiding, McNICHOLS*, Acting Associate Justice, NIELSEN**, Acting Associate Justice, POUTOA, Associate Judge, and SEVA'AETASI,Associate Judge.

PER CURIAM.

This is an appeal from a finding by the trial court that Appellant was guilty of a violation of 22 ASC 1002.1. The sole issue on the appeal is whether the government must prove at the trial that the driver of a vehicle knows a passenger in or on his vehicle has his body extending beyond the interior portion of the vehicle. We hold that the statute in question defines a crime we term "malum prohibitum" and which was within the proper legislative ambit of the Fono [1ASR2d48]and that it is not necessary for the government to prove knowledge on the part of the driver in order to support a finding of guilty.

**********

*Honorable Ray McNichols, United States District Court Judge, District of Idaho, sitting by designation of the secretary of the Department of the Interior.

**Honorable Leland C. Nielsen, United States District Court Judge, Southern District of California, sitting by designation of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.