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Man accused of sexual assault allegedly found with meth when arrested

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 35-year-old man who unlawfully entered a home in Vaitogi last month with the intention of sexually assaulting a woman who was sleeping in the living room is now in custody.

During his arrest, police found a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance in his possession.

Aleki Vaitapu made his initial appearance in District Court last month.

He is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth), an unclassified felony, punishable by term of imprisonment from 5-10 years, a $20,000 fine of both; one count of attempted burglary in the second degree, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both; along with one count of public peace disturbance (PPD), a misdemeanor.

Bail is set at $15,000.


It was around 9 p.m on July 12th, 2021, when a man contacted the TPS requesting police assistance at his residence regarding a male who tried to break into his house while his partner was inside the house sleeping.

Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the man who reported the incident and he explained to officers what had occurred.

He told police that he was at his work place in Ottoville as a security guard when he received a call from his partner (victim) stating that someone had tried to break into the house while she was sleeping.

He told police that he asked his partner if she knew who it was and she said yes, “It’s a guy by the name “TAP”. TAP is the nickname for Aleki Vaitapu, the defendant in this matter. Vaitapu is known to the victim’s husband. They play volleyball together in the neighborhood.

Vaitapu lives two houses away from the victim’s house with his uncle and family.

Officers visited Vaitapu’s residence and found him sitting at the back of the house, and he was immediately apprehended and transported to Tafuna Police Station (TPS) for questioning.

Officers also interviewed the victim about what allegedly happened.

The victim stated in her written statement that she was sleeping (in the living) when she felt something heavy on top of her. She also felt the warm hand of a person touching her body. That’s when she woke up and saw a man standing beside her touching her chest and thigh in a sexual manner.

The victim was frightened when she saw the man inside her house, so, she screamed for help and her neighbor quickly came into her house to help. The defendant, who was standing there, immediately jumped out the window and fled.

The victim’s neighbor, an off-duty police officer told the investigator that when she heard her neighbor screaming loud for help, she quickly stood up and ran to her neighbor’s house and saw a man standing in the living room.

Before the defendant was transported to the TPS for questioning, he was patted down, and police discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance.

When questioned by police, the defendant stated that on the night of the alleged incident, he was getting ready to go hang out with his cousin in front of the store. However, while walking to the front, he saw the light from his friend’s house (victim’s husband) was still on, so, he decided to visit his friend and to spend the evening with him.

Vaitapu told investigators that when he got to the house, the front door was locked and it seemed like the family was sleeping. However, as he walked away from the house, he heard a noise of someone calling out his name. He thought that it was his friend (victim’s husband). So he decided to go back to the house.

He then walked to the back of the house, opened the back window, jumped up and peeked inside. While he was doing so, he saw his friend’s partner sleeping alone in the living room. So, he went to wake her up but he didn’t touch her in a sexual manner.

Vaitapu strongly denied the victim’s statement that he touched her inappropriately. He told investigators that he only held the woman’s left hand in an effort to wake her up. However, he was shocked when another woman opened the front door and walked into the house.

He turned around and ran outside of the house and disappeared because he didn’t want anybody to know that he was inside the victim’s house.

When asked by investigators why he fled from the house, Vaitapu said that he was scared.