Man charged with beating, trying to kidnap 17-year-old girlfriend
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 22-year-old man from Kokoland is now in custody on the allegation that he assaulted a 17-year-old girl by dragging her inside a vehicle, beating her and ripping her clothes.
Victor Ameperosa, who was arrested by police two weeks ago made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea. During his arrest, police discovered money, drugs and paraphernalia in Ameperosa’s possession.
Ameperosa has been charged with two separate cases. In the first case, Ameperosa is charged with one count of felonious restraint involving domestic violence and one count of attempted kidnapping involving domestic violence, both class C felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to seven years, a fine of $5,000 but not less than $150 pursuant to A.S.C.A 47.0402, or both; and two class A misdemeanor charges of 3rd degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Bail in this case is set at $30,000.
In the second case, Ameperosa is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies which carry on imprisonment sentence between 5 to 10 years, a fine between $5,000 and $20,000, or both.
Bail in this case is set at $10,000.
If he posts bonds, the court orders Ameperosa to stay away from the victim and not attempt to contact her or her family in any way; and even if he encounters her in public, he is to walk away from her peacefully. The court also ordered Ameperosa not to set foot in the victim’s family compound at anytime.
Preliminary hearing (PX) is set for Friday next week at 10:30a.m.
On the morning of Mar. 26, 2020, a woman contacted the Tafuna Substation and requested police assistance regarding a young male individual who came uninvited on to their family land and allegedly assaulted her 17-year-old niece by dragging her into a unknown black Toyota pickup in an attempt to kidnap her niece, ripping her clothes and physically beating her.
Fortunately, the victim’s 14-year-old male cousin intervened and managed to free the victim from this male individual. The victim was then escorted to their home and cops were immediately alerted regarding the alleged incident.
The male individual was later identified as Ameperosa, the defendant in this case, while the female was later identified as the 17-year-old victim in this case.
During the course of the investigation, investigators were told that the defendant and the victim are boyfriend and girlfriend. The victim is staying with her aunty at her aunty’s residence in Fogagogo because the victim’s parents are off-island for their medical check-up. It was the victim’s aunty who contacted police for assistance.
When police arrived at the scene, they were informed by the victim’s cousin that the victim was making her way to the Tafuna Substation to file a complaint against her boyfriend, Ameperosa.
Police then returned to the Tafuna Substation and were able to meet up with the victim and her aunty, who accompanied her to the police station.
The victim’s aunty told investigators that after the victim was freed from Ameperosa, she then saw Ameperosa take off running and was picked up by the driver of another vehicle (license plate #684C), driving off towards the airport and making a right turn heading west, going past the Army Reserve compound at a high rate of speed.
According to the victim, she had just been dropped off by her two female cousins in front of their home (her aunty’s residence in Fogagogo where she is staying right now) and was about to make her way to the house. At that time, her 14-year-old male cousin was standing in front of their house, laughing at her and said that “your boyfriend Ameperosa was looking for you yesterday and this morning.”
She ignored the fact that Ameperosa was looking for her.
The victim told police that it was at that very moment after her male cousin told her about Ameperosa when she saw Ameperosa walk straight onto their family land and approach her angrily and ask about her whereabouts last night.
Raising his voice, he took her laptop and cellphone, and allegedly dragged her inside a black pick-up vehicle that was driven by his friend known as “Whiskie”.
According to the government, the victim said she tried very hard to fight back by pulling her hand back but Ameperosa was too strong and at one point, Ameperosa allegedly forced her by carrying her and then allegedly threw her inside the vehicle.
When the victim was inside the vehicle, Ameperosa started assaulting her by allegedly choking her neck, shaking her and grabbed the front of her shirt and forcefully held her down inside the car. She said Ameperosa rested for a moment before continuing to repeatedly punch her in the face, while she raised both hands with palms outward to cover her face.
She said Ameperosa’s punches struck the palms of her hands. She said that while Ameperosa continued with the assault, she saw her male cousin run towards the car and try to open the doors, but he couldn’t because the doors were locked.
It was at that time when her male cousin started stoning the car and that’s when she was able to reach and unlock the door and escape.
The victim told police she heard Ameperosa yelling at the driver to take off because her male cousin and another male individual from their neighborhood were stoning the vehicle. The victim was escorted to the house by her male cousin and immediately notified her aunty about what allegedly happened.
The victim’s male cousin and his male friend from their neighborhood witnessed the alleged incident, and were interviewed by the police.
The male cousin confirmed the victim’s account of the incident, including the role he played rescuing the victim by stoning the vehicle with his friend, while it was slowly moving, and helping the victim to get out of the vehicle.
The victim’s male cousin told police this is not the first time this has happened, that Ameperosa forced his female cousin (victim) to go with him. Whenever the victim tried to break up with him (Ameperosa), he would beat her up and she would come to him with bruises on her body.
Injuries on the victim’s body, included abrasions and redness on the left side of her neck, abrasions on the left arm just below her shoulder, swelling of the right side of her chest area just above her right breast, scratches and redness on her back, which appeared to have been caused by fingernails, and both sides of her shirt on the chest area were severely torn.
After interviewing the victim, several police officers headed to the defendant’s home in Kokoland in an effort to locate him, however, his sister informed police that Ameperosa just called her and informed her that he would be spending the whole week with his girlfriend (victim) at his girlfriend’s house.
Last week, two off-duty police officers spotted the defendant inside a store in the Tafuna area and they immediately notified the Tafuna Police Substation.
Ameperosa was apprehended at the store and was transported to the Tafuna Substation for further investigation. Before he was taken into the police unit, police conducted a body search on Ameperosa for illegal drugs or weapon.
During the body search, police discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance, and a small stamp-sized baggie containing 2 hand-rolled cigarettes with green leafy substance.
The white crystalline substance tested positive for methamphetamine, while the green leafy substance tested positive for marijuana.
After being informed of his constitutional rights, Ameperosa refused to make a statement.