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Man arrested for allegedly having an affair with a 16-year old

American Samoa District Court building
His wife reported him to police after he left her

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A married man who left his wife and then allegedly had an affair with a 16-year-old girl was arrested by police last week pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court. Moreover, the mother of the alleged victim allowed the affair to continue after she was unable to stop her daughter from dating the defendant.

The defendant, Maresi Sam-Chong made his initial appearance in District Court this week.

Sam-Chong 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.

Bail is set at $30,000.


On Feb.19th, 2021, a woman walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report that her husband (defendant) had left their marriage and was allegedly having an affair with a 16-year-old minor.

She told investigators that her husband’s brother told her that her husband (defendant) would pick up the victim every night. Furthermore, the defendant’s wife told investigators that the victim’s mother contacted her husband’s brother and told him that the victim is pregnant with the defendant’s child.

After receiving the information, investigators contacted everyone involved in the matter, asking them to come to the TPS  to discuss the issue.

The following day, Feb. 20th, defendant walked into the TPS and introduced himself to investigators where he was Mirandized, after being told of the issue — allegations of his relationship with the 16-year-old girl.

The defendant said he understood and agreed to provide a written and verbal statement to investigators.

The defendant verbally stated that he left his wife and started dating the victim in December of last year. Their relationship started on Dec. 25th, 2020 and the victim’s mother was aware of his relationship with her daughter (victim) and she gave him permission to date her daughter.

He said the relationship was both sexual and comprising dates, with nightly visitations starting from the last week of December, the whole of January and the beginning of February. 

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.

After interviewing the defendant, investigators interviewed the 16-year-old regarding the alleged relationship.

The victim confirmed what the defendant said saying it was in the month of December when she started seeing him.

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 asking if she needed anything.

The victim admitted to investigators in the presence of her mother that she and the defendant had been having a sexual relationship with twice a week since December of last year, up until the first week of February of this year.

She said the love between her and Sam-Chong 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 sister’s phone and Facebook to communicate with Sam-Chong.

The victim’s mother stated that she had known about her daughter’s relationship with the defendant. She said she at first was 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 couldn’t convince her daughter to stop seeing Sam-Chong.

According to the victim’s mother, she was not aware that her daughter and Sam-Chong were having sexual relations twice a week.

The victim’s sister was also interviewed by investigators. During her interview, she stated that she didn’t know anything about her sister having a sexual relationship with Sam-Chong.

The victim’s sister said Sam-Chong was her husband’s cousin and he would come by their place to visit and he did not show any demeanor of any kind of having a sexual relationship with her sister.

She further stated that it was in the month of January when the victim revealed to her that she was in a relationship with Sam-Chong. The victim’s sister said she was trying to convince her sister to end relationship with the defendant.