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Man charged with abuse of five year old son

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Neli Taue’etia is being held on bail of $5,000 over claims that he assaulted his son with a stick and it is alleged that this is not the fist time this has occurred.

The defendant appeared in the District Court earlier this week. He faces charges of child abuse, third-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

It’s alleged that on January 30, 2023, this case was reported to police by the victim’s mother. The incident occurred the day before.

The criminal complaint states the woman heard her son crying for help, and she opened their bedroom and told the suspect to stop but he kept beating her son with the stick.

 “And he threatened her saying he would kill her if she tried to stop him from beating her son.”

The woman told police, during lunch she tried to get her son to eat but the defendant said to let him eat at nightfall.

It’s alleged that when the victim asked for something to drink, the suspect told him no and forced him to drink a cup of tea inside the bedroom or “else he would scoop out his eyeballs.

“Further investigation revealed by the victim’s mother, that she too was abused by the suspect multiple times. She told police that on “November 28, 2022 the suspect woke up while she was cutting onions in the kitchen, he walked behind her and slapped her on the back of her neck so hard and walked away.

“The suspect returned with the machete and hit her on the back using the flat cutting edge of the machete. She also stated that the suspect threatened her by saying he would cut her into pieces and hide it inside a container and kill her if she planned to leave him,” says the court documents.

The police found the defendant and arrested him. During questioning, the defendant refused to make a statement to police.