Man charged with abuse of physically challenged step-daughter
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of abusing his physically challenged step-daughter several months ago was arrested by police last month and charged.
The defendant, Tolai Maua made his initial appearance in Court last month.
The defendant is charged with one count of abuse of an elderly or disabled adult involving an act of domestic violence, a class C felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000, but not less than $150, pursuant to A.S.C.A 47.0402, or both.
Bail is set at $10,000.
If he posts bond, the court orders among other usual restrictions that the defendant not have any direct or indirect contact with the victim in this case, nor should he try in any way to reach out to her. He’s ordered to provide care for his other children who stay with him at his home and not to threaten them nor abuse them in any way.
On March 7, 2021 at approximately 2:34 p.m a woman contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) regarding a female who came into her house requesting help with her dad who allegedly assaulted her.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the woman who reported the matter at her residence in Nu’uuli. While entering the reporter’s house, officers observed a female individual sitting on a chair in the office. The female was later identified as the victim in this case. The police officers described her as panicked, shaking and scared.
The victim was later transported to the TPS for further investigation.
Upon arrival at the TPS, investigators met up with the victim where she stated her name but did not remember her date of birth, that’s when investigators noticed that she had some disability; however she was open [or clear] minded and remembered every detail of what had occurred at the time of the alleged incident.
As she was speaking with investigators, the victim kept looking around and sometimes looking out of the window. When asked by one investigator about the reason why she keeps looking around the office and outside the window, the victim replied that she’s afraid of her step-dad and she’s looking around to see if he’s coming back to beat her.
Investigators made it clear to the victim that she’s in a safe place and if her dad comes to the police station, he would not be allowed to touch her. She’s now under police protection and care.
When asked about the incident, the victim stated with tears that she was doing her own thing when her nephew came up to her and tried to interrupt her. Her nephew is her older brother’s son.
After she scolded her nephew, her nephew then went and reported what happened to her step-father who was working with other men doing carpentry work for their family kitchen. She heard her dad calling her name from inside the house to not bother her nephew again or otherwise she will be in trouble.
As she continued with her own tasks, her nephew came back to her for the second time and tried to interrupt her. She then scolded her nephew and slapped him in the face. Her nephew went back and reported to her step-father what she had done.
That’s when her dad quickly came inside her room, allegedly grabbed a broom that was lying on the floor and threw it at her and hit her in the chest. The victim stated that she felt a lot of pain and that’s when she told her step-father that she is going to call the cops on him because he assaulted her and she was feeling a lot of pain to her chest.
The defendant got angry and yelled at his daughter and chased after her outside of the house. At first, the victim thought that her dad would not come after her, however, when she saw that he was serious and he was coming to beat her up, that’s when she ran away from her dad calling out for help.
While she was running and calling for help, she accidentally fell in front of the neighbor’s house and hit her face on the ground. While she was on the ground trying to get up, her dad came and immediately pulled her hair, dragging her body over the ground while slapping and punching her several times in the facial area.
She called out to her dad to please give her another chance but he did not stop punching and slapping her. The victim cried out and called out to the neighbors for help knowing that her dad was going to beat her badly.
Her neighbor heard her cries and rushed outside of her house to offer help. When the defendant saw the neighbor, he stopped assailing his daughter and immediately walked away. The neighbor took the victim inside her house before calling the police for help. The victim told investigators that she felt pain on her head when she fell on the ground and also the time when her dad pulled her hair and punched her several times.
After interviewing the victim, several police officers proceeded to the defendant’s home to locate him, however, they were told by one of the defendant’s daughter that he was not at home.
Police officers visited the defendant’s house twice on the next day and they were provided with the same answer by one of the defendant’s daughters. Last month, the defendant was apprehended at his house and transported to the TPS for questioning.
After being Mirandized, the defendant said he understood and was willing to make a statement.
According to the defendant’s statement to investigators, he had consumed beer on the day of the incident while helping other men fixing his kitchen. He stated that he beat up his daughter for disobeying his instructions not to bother his grandson anymore. He apologized to investigators for his actions.