Accused sex abuser identified by 7-yr-old as “the man with a baby”
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of sexually abusing two young female victims, then aged 7 and 15 — was recently arrested by police, after the initial report was made over a year ago.
The defendant made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago.
(Samoa News has chosen not to identify the man due to the victims being underaged, despite him being named in court documents.)
He is charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000.
On March 12, 2019 a couple walked into the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) requesting an investigation regarding an alleged incident where their 7-year-old daughter was sexually abused by a married man.
However during the course of the investigation, it was discovered that there was another victim in this case, a girl who was 15 years old at the time of the incident. The second victim is the younger sister of the defendant’s wife.
The couple told investigators that on Mar. 05, 2019, she and her husband had a family discussion with their four children about any ‘weird experiences’ that they may have encountered.
Subsequent to the family talk, everyone left the room, except for the mother and her then 7-year-old daughter, who had a conversation.
During the conversation, the victim told her mother she had a weird experience when “the man with the baby” touched her private part multiple times inside her room. The victim referred to the suspect as “the man with a baby” because she didn’t know the man’s name.
(The man was later identified by name.)
During the interview with investigators, the victim’s mother stated that during her discussion with her 7-year-old daughter, there was a time her daughter cried with embarrassment asking her mother not to tell anyone, especially her father and siblings about what she told her.
The mother was shocked when her daughter told her about her experience.
The young girl told her mother that the first alleged incident happened while they were playing with other young children — when all the grown-ups were on the other side of the house.
The defendant allegedly called out to her (the victim) to come to his room so that he could show her something. The victim agreed and walked to the defendant’s room and saw the defendant laying in bed.
According to the victim’s statement later made to investigators, the defendant stood up and carried her onto his bed and placed her (victim) next to him.
According to the victim’s statement to the investigator, it was during this time that the defendant allegedly sexually abused her by touching her inappropriately.
The victim also stated that the defendant’s wife walked into the room and witnessed her husband’s action and screamed at him in Samoan. This is when the victim was able to break away and run outside of the defendant’s room. According to the victim, this incident happened on Oct. 6, 2018.
The young girl (victim) also told investigators the date and time of another alleged incident.
She stated that on Apr. 23, 2019 around 9 a.m she walked inside the house to use the bathroom, when the defendant grabbed her hand and took her inside the room and on the bed where he (defendant) allegedly touched her inappropriately.
The victim further stated to investigators that there were other times the defendant, the man she always referred to as the “man with the baby” touched her body inappropriately.
Investigators spoke to the defendant’s wife regarding the alleged Oct. 6, 2018 incident that the victim said she (the defendant’s wife) witnessed.
The defendant’s wife confirmed the victim’s account, recalling that she went inside the house to use the bathroom and was shocked when she saw her husband with her little cousin (7-year-old victim) on the bed.
The defendant stated that she shook her head with shock while screaming to her husband and asking him, “What are you doing?” The defendant jumped off the bed before replying to her, “nothing happened, we were just lying on the bed,” and he walked out of the room.
The defendant’s wife told investigators that she remembers that her husband was drunk that night.
During the course of the police investigation, it was discovered that there was another victim the defendant allegedly sexually abused during the same time period. The second victim is the younger sister of the defendant’s wife.
Information received by investigators revealed that the alleged incident occurred between October to December of 2017, while the second victim lived with the defendant and his wife.
Investigators interviewed the second victim regarding the allegation and she told investigators that around 1a.m while she was sleeping in her room, the defendant entered her room and woke her up.
The victim chased the defendant out of her room and instructed him not to come inside her room again. A few minutes later after the victim fell asleep, the defendant entered her room again and allegedly touched her body in a sexual manner. The victim woke up when she felt someone touching her inappropriately and found the defendant sitting beside her bed. The victim again chased the defendant out of her room.
The second victim told investigators that she did not go back to sleep until she was sure that the defendant could not enter her room again.
Two days after the first alleged incident, a second incident allegedly happened when the defendant was drunk. The second victim knew that the defendant was drinking beer that night, so she locked her room to make sure the defendant could not enter her room.
Around 11p.m, while the victim was sleeping in her room, the defendant tried to open the her door, but he couldn’t, so he used a screwdriver to open it and forced his way inside the room. He allegedly went to the bed and touched the second victim inappropriately, causing her to wake up and saw the defendant standing by the side of her bed. She yelled at the defendant and told him to get out of her room.
The following morning, the victim reported the incident to her brother-in-law who in turn wanted to beat up the defendant. Furthermore, the victim told investigators that the matter was discussed during a family gathering where the defendant apologized to the victim and the family and promised that he would not do it again.
The investigation into this matter continued until last month and the defendant was picked up on Sept. 21, 2020 and transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning regarding these allegations.
He was Mirandized and wanted to make a statement pertaining to the alleged sex abuse incidents.
With regards to the alleged incident involving the 7-year-old victim, the defendant admitted that he sexually abused her several times in his room.
He told investigators that he was really drunk on each occasion.
He remembered one night where he went inside the room where the 7-year-old victim slept and touched her leg about four times before he went outside thinking that somebody might see him.
The defendant recalled another night where he was really drunk, and he took the 7-year-old victim into his room and sexually abused her by touching her inappropriately.
He also recalled another night where he went into the victim’s room and touched her inappropriately before he left the room and went back to sleep.
When asked by investigators why he did this to the young victim, the defendant replied in Samoa “E fia alu ia a’u”, (She likes me).
With regards to the alleged incident involving the second victim, his 15-year-old sister-in-law, the defendant also admitted to the allegations.
He told investigators that he was drunk and wanted to spend some time with his sister-in-law (second victim). He went into her room and touched her inappropriately. The victim chased him out of her room, but he knew that the victim didn’t mean it.