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Man charged with sex abuse after 17-year old girl accuses him of rape

American Samoa High Court building
ausage@samoanews.com

A man accused of having sex with a 17-year-old girl was arrested by police last month.

Keneti Sionesini made his initial appearance in District Court last month.

He is charged with one count of 1st degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both; along with one count of aiding a child to possess or consume alcohol, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Bail is set at $5,000.

Sionesini waived his rights to a preliminary examination and he appeared in High Court last week Friday for arraignment, where he entered a not guilty plea to all the charges against him.

His next court appearance is Mar. 24 and he’s released on bond.

THE CASE

It was late at night on Dec. 22, 2021 when a woman and her 17-year-old daughter walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to file a complaint against a 32-year-old male who sexually assaulted her daughter.

The male was later identified as Sionesini, the defendant in this matter.  The woman told police that Sionesini took her daughter to a house in Ottoville and had sexual intercourse with her.

When questioned by the investigator, the victim stated that on the afternoon of Dec. 22, 2021, the defendant called her asking if she wanted to hang out and she told him that she’s busy and if he could call her back in another two hours.

The defendant called her again and she told him to pick her up, so the defendant with friends picked her up in front of a church in Iliili and then they went to a store in Ottoville to buy alcoholic beverages. They then went to a house in Ottoville, and consumed their alcohol in the living room.

When she got drunk, the defendant took her into a room where there was a pool table and the defendant then took off all her clothes and had sexual intercourse with her.

The victim told investigators that during sexual intercourse, she begged the defendant to stop because she didn’t want to get pregnant but the defendant did not stop. After sexual intercourse, the defendant went to take a phone call and came back to tell her that since his girlfriend is coming to pick him up if she could take a taxi back home. The defendant then left and had his friends call a taxi for her.

On the following day, Dec. 23, the defendant walked into the TPS and was interviewed by investigators regarding the alleged matter. The defendant agreed to talk after he was Mirandized and waived his rights.

According to the defendant’s statement to investigators, he called the victim and asked her if she wanted to hang out with him. The victim told him to call back and after 10-15 minutes, he called and that’s when the victim told him yes she’s available to hang out.

According to the defendant, he went with his friends to pick up the victim and they went straight to a store in Ottoville to buy alcohol and he asked the victim if she wanted to drink and she said “yes please”. He bought her alcohol, and they went back to the house and started drinking in the living room.

The defendant stated that after two cans of alcohol, the victim started hugging him and kissed him and that’s how things started — where they ended up in the room where a pool table was located and had sexual intercourse there.

The defendant said that after they had sexual intercourse, he and the victim returned back to the living and continued drinking until his girlfriend called him saying she was coming to pick him up. That’s when he told the victim his girlfriend was coming and she can take a taxi back home. He gave his friends $5 to call a cab for her and left with his girlfriend.