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Man accused of raping his biological daughter when she was just 13

American Samoa District Court building
Her mother and father deny anything happened

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Bail for a man accused of — among other things — raping his biological daughter, is set at $50,000.

In the interest of protecting the minor victim, Samoa News is withholding the names of the parties involved. Samoa News points out that the alleged sexual activities occurred when the victim was 13 years old. She is now 15.

The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last Friday and his next court appearance is scheduled for tomorrow.

Altogether, he is facing six charges: two counts of sodomy, two counts of first degree sexual abuse, one count of incest, and one count of rape — all felonies — carrying a maximum total of 60 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.

According to the government's case, it was Feb. 12, 2019 that a social worker from the DHSS Child Protective Services contacted police regarding runaway minors from a village on the westside, one of whom was possibly raped by her biological father.

F.T. (as the minor is identified in court filings) was interviewed by police and in her written statement, the girl claims that on Feb. 8 this year, while going about doing her normal chores, her father told her to "find somewhere else to live."

The girl said she told her younger sister, who wanted to go with her.

The two allegedly walked from their village to Pava'ia'i and then caught a bus to Malaeloa where they were approached by a woman asking where they were heading.

F.T. said she told the woman she needed help. The woman took the two girls to her father who then contacted Social Services.

According to F.T., she arrived in American Samoa back in August 2016. She said she was raised by her grandparents in Samoa — since she was an infant — and when her biological father came to Samoa for his grandmother's funeral, that's when he asked F.T.'s grandparents if he could bring his daughter back to American Samoa with him.

Permission was granted and the two traveled to Tutuila that same day.

F.T. claims that the day after their arrival, her father touched her breast, put his fingers in her pants, and proceeded to touch, rub, and penetrate her private parts. 

The girl said she told her mother about what happened and her mother told her to wait until her father gets home. When F.T.'s mother confronted the defendant, he denied it, saying F.T. was lying. 

The girl said her mother told her "not to say anything to anyone."

Then in mid-September 2016, F.T. claims that her father asked her to massage his legs and back — and she did. At about midnight, the girl told police that her dad opened her pants, rubbed her private parts and proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her.

She said her father told her not to say anything to anyone and if she did, he "would do something to her," according to the court affidavit.

F.T. said she went to her mother the next day and told her what happened, but her mother didn't believe her. So she went to school and reported it to someone there.

Police were able to interview the school official who said F.T. came to her office for help a few months prior, and the girl told her about the alleged sexual abuse at the hands of her father. The school employee said she spoke to the girl's parents, who denied that anything happened.

The school employee said she told the girl that if anything else happened, she should call the police.

In an interview with police at the family’s home, the girl's mother said her husband went to Samoa and it was F.T. who wanted to move to American Samoa with her father. She said her husband brought F.T. to Tutuila and since the girl's arrival, she has run away three times.

The mother said F.T. is "jealous" of her younger siblings and she suspects that her behavior (running away) is because she wants to go back to Samoa.