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Man held on $50,000 bond after arraignment in rape case

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 36-year-old man is being held on bail of $50,000 on several sex charges. This is in connection to the alleged rape of his girlfriend’s daughter.

The defendant was arraigned in the High Court yesterday. To protect the identity of the victim Samoa News has opted not to name the defendant in this matter.

He is facing two counts of rape, sexual abuse first degree, endangering the welfare of a child and assault third degree.

According to the government’s case, around January this year a social worker with the Department of Human Social Services Child Protective Services, referred a rape case to the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The 13-year old victim was accompanied by her uncle and aunt to the police station.

She told police that she was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend who has been living with them since 2017.

It's alleged the victim was raped in November of last year by the defendant while her mother wasn’t at home.

According to the victim, she was raped at their home three times by her mother’s boyfriend.

“She stated she recalled that on Monday, November 21, 2022, around 2:30 PM after school, she just got home and her grandma, brother and the defendant were home. She was setting her things down when the defendant called her [and] when she entered the room, the defendant pushed her onto the bed and started taking her clothes off and raped her.

Two similar incidents occurred afterwards. After each sexual encounter, the defendant gave her $5 and told her not to say anything to anyone.

The victim further told police that she informed her sister about what occurred. The victim told her mother, but she did not believe it and instead, the victim was sent to live in Aoa with her aunt and uncle. When she told them (her aunt and uncle) what happened —that's when the incident came to light.

Court filings say the defendant denied the sexual accusations. He stated that he has been in a relationship with the victim’s mother since February 2017 and that he is taking care of her kids as if they were his own.

Furthermore, he told police that he was working on the days cited by the victim. According to the defendant, the victim would sneak out late at night to go roam around in the village with friends and whenever the victim asked for money, he would always provide it.