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Older man accused of raping his teenaged niece

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 58-year-old man from Fagaima was arrested last month on the allegation that he raped his 16-year-old niece inside the victim’s home earlier last month.

[In the interest of protecting the minor victim, Samoa News is withholding the names of all parties involved].

The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last month. He is charged with several serious felonies: one count of rape; two counts of sodomy; and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Bail is set at $50,000.

If he is able to post bail, the defendant is to find someplace else to live (his house is next to the victim’s house). He also cannot leave the territory and he is not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim or her family.


On Friday, May 9, 2021, a woman and two female teens went to the Tafuna Police SubStation to report that one of them had been raped by her uncle, who lives next door.

The victim, 16, and her sister, 19, live with their aunt and uncle.

On May 8, 2021, the victim headed out for school but returned home because she was not feeling well. When the victim came home, her aunt sent her to the store for food. The aunt then left for work.

On her way home, the victim met up with her uncle, who was heading to the store. After a brief conversation, the victim continued home while the defendant remained in the area.

According to the victim’s statement to police, she was in the kitchen when she saw her uncle enter their house through the back door and sit at the table. The victim said she was busy cleaning up while the defendant remained seated at the table playing with his phone.

Out of nowhere, the victim said her uncle hugged her from behind and inappropriately touched her. The victim said she pushed her uncle’s hands away but he grabbed her hand and pulled it towards him.

The victim said she pushed her uncle away and walked into the living room; but the defendant didn’t stop. He allegedly followed her to the living room, grabbed her hand again, and this time, pulled her into the room. The victim said she tried to pull her hand back but the defendant was too strong, he used his right hand to pull her hand while he used his left hand to push her body inside the room.

Once alone, the victim told police that her uncle started kissing her while he groped her all over with his hands. The defendant then allegedly undressed victim, then himself, before allegedly raping her.

The victim said she tried to move and break free, but her uncle was too strong.

She said the alleged rape only came to a halt after the bed started creaking. That’s when her uncle told her not to tell anyone what happened, and if she does. he will hurt her and her sister.

The defendant then left and went back to his house. But the victim told police this wasn’t the first time her uncle has sexually abused her. She claims that during the first week of April this year, while she was home alone, the defendant came over and asked if she needed food. She told police that she said no but the defendant gave her $50 and told her to go to the store and buy something — use $20 but bring back his $30 change.

The victim said upon her return she allegedly found the defendant waiting for her in her house — naked — and he instructed the victim to inappropriately touch him. The victim told police she was scared but couldn’t do anything because her uncle grabbed her hand and put it on his private area.

The defendant also touched her sexually and told her he wanted to make love to her.

When confronted by police, the defendant admitted to taking the victim into her bedroom but says he never raped her. According to him, it was the victim who asked him to come over and hang out with her. While he was in the house, the victim asked him to scratch her back. And while he was doing that, the victim grabbed his hand and put it on her chest. That’s when he grabbed the victim’s hand and pulled her into her room where he touched her sexually.

The defendant denies ever having sexual intercourse with the victim in her room.


In 2009, the defendant was placed on probation for 2 years in District Court after he was convicted of two counts of third degree assault, pursuant to a plea agreement with the government. In that case, the defendant admitted to sexually touching a 15-year-old girl on two different occasions. The defendant and the victim in that case were not related.