Family members of 16-year old victim overlook her affair with her Uncle
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A married man with 4 young children is now in custody after being arrested by police last month on the allegation that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with his 16-year-old niece for a period of over 6 month.
Moreover, the grandmother of the alleged victim told the investigators that her daughter (victim’s aunty) allowed the affair to continue after she was unable to stop the victim from having a sexual relationship with the defendant, who also is the victim’s uncle.
During his arrest, police discovered drugs in the defendant’s possession.
(To protect the identity of the victim in this case, Samoa News will not name parties involve in this matter)
The defendant, 39, made his initial appearance in District Court this month.
The government has filed two separate cases against the defendant.
In the first case, the defendant is charged with three counts of rape, a class B felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than fifteen years; three counts of 1st degree sexual abuse and 3 counts of incest, both class D felonies, along with one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from 5-10, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail is set at $35,000.
If he post bonds, the court orders the defendant not to have any direct or indirect contact with the victim or her family. He was also ordered to make all of his court appearances, stay in close contact with his defense attorney, and remain law abiding at all times.
Preliminary examination is next week.
On Jan.29th, 2021, a 31-year-old woman walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report that her husband (defendant) had abused her repeatedly without any reason. She stated that every time she confronted her husband about a suspect relationship between him and his niece, he always reacted violently and beat her up.
The woman further told police that it was in the beginning of this year when her husband told her that he wanted to leave their marriage and find a new life because he’s tired of her behavior. The woman stated that a family member of her husband’s told her that her husband is having an affair with his own 16-year-old niece since August of last year.
She told investigators that her husband’s female cousin told her that her husband (defendant) would pick up the victim every night and drive her to an abandoned house in Nu’uuli to have sex there, before dropping the victim back to her place. Furthermore, the defendant’s wife told investigators that the victim’s aunt contacted her husband’s brother and told him that the victim attempted to commit suicide twice after she confronted her about her sexual relationship with her uncle (defendant).
After receiving the information, investigators contacted everyone involved in the matter, asking them to come to the TPS to discuss the issue. Those who went to TPS for questioning included the victim, her aunt, the defendant’s female cousin, along with the victim’s 73-year-old grandmother.
The victim was interviewed by investigators in the presence of her grandmother. During the interview, the victim confirmed what her uncle (defendant) said it was in the month of August when she started seeing him after her uncle gave her money to buy herself a new cell phone.
She said he’s a loving person, who always provided everything she wanted, and he would call on her to check how was she doing and ask if she needed anything.
The victim admitted to investigators in the presence of her grandmother that she and the defendant had been having a sexual relationship more than four times a week since August of last year, up until the first week of January of this year.
She said the love between her and her uncle grew stronger and stronger and it got to the point where she wanted to marry him and be with him for the rest of her life.
At times when they were not together, the victim said she used her aunt’s phone and Facebook to communicate with her uncle because she didn’t want her uncle’s wife to know that she was the one who was talking with the defendant on the phone.
The victim further stated to investigators that she agreed to have sex with the defendant.
The victim’s aunt stated that she had known about her niece’s relationship with the defendant. She said she was at first against it, but finally gave in and gave her permission. She said she didn’t report it to police when she found out because she was afraid that her niece might do something drastic if she pressured her to stop the relationship with the defendant.
The victim’s aunt recalled two separate incidents where the victim attempted to commit suicide after she scolded her about the defendant. From that moment on, she decided not to bother her anymore.
According to the victim’s grandmother, she was not aware that her granddaughter and the defendant were having sexual relations. And, she was very disappointed when she found out about the sexual relationship — knowing that both are from one family.
The victim’s sister-in-law was also interviewed by investigators. During her interview, she stated that she didn’t know anything about the victim having a sexual relationship with the defendant in the beginning. However, she found out after she discovered nude photos of the defendant and the victim on the victim’s phone.
The victim’s sister-in-law stated that the defendant would come by their place to visit and he did not show any demeanor of having any kind of sexual relationship with the victim.
She further stated that it was in the month of January when the victim revealed to her that she was in a relationship with the defendant after she confronted the victim about the photos. The sister-in-law said she was trying to convince the victim to end the relationship with the defendant.
The defendant was apprehended at his friend’s house in Happy Valley last month and transported to the TPS for questioning where he was Mirandized, after being told of the allegations of his relationship with the 16-year-old girl.
The defendant said he understood his rights and agreed to provide a written and verbal statement to investigators.
The defendant verbally stated that he started dating the victim in August of last year. Their relationship started on Aug. 15th, 2020 and the victim’s aunt was aware of his relationship with the victim and she gave him permission to date the victim.
He said the relationship was both sexual and comprising dates, with nightly visitations starting from the last week of December and the whole of January.
The defendant also told investigators that things had been getting worse in his marriage and he knew that it could never be repaired. He then decided to date this young girl because he loved her, and he wanted to be with her, despite the fact that she was only 16 years old and they are related.
He said he’s tired of his wife’s disrespectful behavior towards him and the fact that she (wife) also bothers him whenever he comes home late from work. He stated that he works hard for his family, especially his children, however, it appears that his wife did not appreciate his good work.
Before the defendant was taken into custody for questioning, police conducted a body search on him. During a body search, police discovered a brown paper wrapped item inside his right pants pocket. Inside it, police discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance, along with two hand rolled marijuana joints.
When asked about the drugs, the defendant admitted that the drugs belonged to him and he bought them from a friend in Vaitogi. He did not reveal the identity of the man from whom he bought the drugs.
The white crystalline substance was tested and it revealed a positive result for methamphetamine; while the green leafy substance (joints) tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.