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Man held on $75,000 bail after underage girl alleges he molested her

American Samoa District Court

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Fagatogo police station received a walk-in complaint in regards to the assault of a minor on September 17, 2023 at 12:37 PM. The victim, accompanied by a trusted adult, went to police headquarters, and spoke to the Criminal Investigation Division on what happened, and later provided a written statement. 

The victim alleges that there were two incidents where the defendant, identified as Eti Muagututia, had touched her. According to the statement, the first incident occurred in October 2022. The victim said she was with her younger cousin inside the defendant’s room, and when the defendant entered the room, he chased her younger cousin out but told her to stay inside the room with him. 

The statement alleges that the defendant choked her against the wall, and told her not to say anything to anyone. He then told her to lift up her shirt so he could see her, and he started touching her chest and caressing ‘them’. The victim states that the defendant’s son then intervened when he knocked on the door of the room they were in. 

At that moment, the victim went outside and told the defendant’s son what his father did to her, to which he is alleged to angrily state, “He’s done it again.”

The second incident, according to the victim’s statement, occurred on September 13, 2023. The victim was told by her aunty to watch her little cousin while the aunt went to the store. As she was watching her younger cousin in the room, the defendant again went into that room, instructed the cousin she was babysitting to leave and locked the room. 

The defendant then forced the victim to open her shirt and made her undress. After the second incident, she told her friends what happened and then her friends went and told their parents. Her friend's parents then told one of the victim’s aunts, and the aunt then assisted the victim in telling her grandparents about the incident. 

On September 17, 2023 at 3:01 PM, detectives apprehended Muagututia at his residence and was transported to the FPS where he was Mirandized and later provided a written statement. 

The suspect states that during October 2022, there was a day he went into a room in the house and opened the door and saw the victim and the younger cousin inside. He states that he questioned the victim, with the younger cousin still present, about a question that the victim’s younger sister asked her. 

The defendant told officers that he asked the victim what her younger sister meant about a “guy performing a specific act”, to which the victim told him that her sister was only joking. The defendant says he told the victim not to lie, and made her lift her shirt up because he was curious if someone had performed a sexual act towards her. 

In addition, the defendant states that he heard from other people that he had done shameful things to the victim and said that in all honesty, he had done nothing sexual to the victim and that nothing happened. 

Muagututia is being charged with eight counts — one count of child molesting, one count of sodomy, two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree, two counts of child abuse, and two counts of felonious restraint.

Bail for the defendant has been set at $75,000.


In September of 2018 Muagututia pled guilty to one charge of 1st degree sexual abuse. He was initially charged with two counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, both class D felonies, along with a class A misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.