January 10, 2011

By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press

January 5, 2011 Pohnpei, FSM-Assistant Attorney General Ira Shifflett confirmed today that charges against Ansper George will be dismissed in the Pohnpei State court on January 6. George had been charged with the brutal attack on two Seventh Day Adventist school teachers that took place in the early morning hours of November 17 of last year as the two walked the hill to Cupid's Bar and Grill in Nanpohnmal before their morning classes.

Shifflett said that he had conducted his own investigation and determined that due to lack of evidence the state would not likely succeed on the merits of the case. Charging paperwork that accused George of seven separate crimes had already been drafted. Shifflett said that he had told employees who handle service and court filings that the AG's office would not be pursuing those charges and that they should not be filed. But a mistake was made some time during the holidays and the papers were inadvertently filed at the court and were served on Ansper George on January 3rd, his 21st birthday.

Shifflett said that there would be a hearing on the 6th but that the State will be dismissing the charges entirely at that hearing. George was one of two suspects detained shortly after the attack. He has vehemently denied any involvement or knowledge of the attack since then. He says that he was shocked and depressed when he received the charges. George who is usually soft spoken and jovial rang his hands and exclaimed, "I didn't do it! I was asleep in my bed at that time. You know me. I wouldn't do something like that!" Shifflett said that police have focused their investigations on another suspect but the investigating officer had so far, been tight lipped about the results of the investigation. He said that he has a meeting planned with that police officer set for this afternoon and hopes that meeting will lead to charges soon.

SDA teachers Krystle Haugen and Kathleen Schaefer were attacked during their morning exercises by a man who was wearing a white cloth on his head that obscured his identity. In an effort to drive off Haugen so that he could concentrate his attentions on Schaefer the man struck Haugen several times with a stick that the women said was a bit longer than a baseball bat. Haugen's arm was broken in three places, an injury which required off island surgery. Schaefer required stitches for her injuries.

The attack was apparently witnessed by one or more bystanders but we were not able to ascertain whether or not those witnesses have cooperated with the police investigation.

The SDA School has changed its rules about off campus excursions. The United States Embassy to the FSM issued a warning about increased crimes against foreigners.