Older sister calls the cops after finding man in younger sister’s bedroom
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A case of a bus driver accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl was filed in District Court last week. It was the victim’s 25-year-old sister who alerted police about the alleged incident and as a result, the suspect was arrested. During the arrest, cops found illegal drugs in his possession.
Raymond Taulia, 45, appeared in court last week for his initial appearance where the court set bail at $20,000
He's being charged with one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, a felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment from 5 to 10 years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both; along with one count of first degree sexual abuse, a class D felony; and two class A misdemeanors: 3rd degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Despite the severity of the allegations against his client, the defense attorney asked the court for a reduction in bail for his client saying that the government’s case against his client is just an allegation.
The defense attorney said Taulia is a first time offender who has been a bus driver for many years. He said he spoke to his client about the allegations against him and was told it was all a set up.
The prosecutor objected to both motions and noted that the allegations against the defendant are serious and it is the government's duty to protect the young victim. He said the bail amount is reasonable and the defendant is not to have contact with the victim in this case.
If he posts his bond, the court ordered that he remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and he has to surrender his travel documents to the government’s attorney. He was also ordered not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim or also government witnesses.
Furthermore, Taulia was also ordered that he should find another place to stay, as the alleged crime took place in the compound where the victim and her family reside — the same compound where Taulia lives.
Taulia is scheduled to appear in court next week for his preliminary examination (PX).
GOVERNMENT’S ALLEGATIONS AGAINST TAULIA
The government claims that it was on Aug. 18, 2021 in the morning when the sister of the alleged young victim called the Central Police Station (TPS) and asked for police assistance, stating that her 16-year old sister had been sexually abused by their neighbor.
The victim’s sister further stated to police on the phone that their neighbor is allegedly selling illegal drugs around their neighborhood.
The lead investigator, along with two police officers responded to the call and met with the reporter (victim’s sister) who directed police officers to their home where her sister was located.
Both the victim and her sister were then transported to the TPS for further investigation. The victim was interviewed by police officers in the presence of her sister. The victim’s parents were unaware of the situation because they were both at work when this matter occurred.
According to the victim’s statement to police, she was asleep the previous evening but she was suddenly awakened when she felt someone touching her inappropriately. At first, the victim told investigators, she thought that it was a dream, however, a few seconds later, she realized it was not a dream.
When she woke up, she saw the defendant kneeling next to her head, touching her inappropriately. The defendant whispered to her to be quiet and not make any noise.
The defendant then told the victim that he wanted to spend some time with her. The victim did not waste a moment, and screamed and yelled out to her father. The defendant then stood up quickly and ran outside, started his aiga-bus, which was parked in front of his house, and left the premises (the compound).
The victim told investigators that this was not the first time Taulia had made these sorts of sexual advances to her.
She remembered one night while sitting in front of their house, she felt someone touching her inappropriately from behind. She turned around to see who it was — and saw Taulia standing behind her. When she asked what did he think he was doing, he just laughed without saying a word.
The victim also recalled another night while she was sleeping on her bed late at night when she felt something heavy on her. She woke up and saw Taulia was trying to lay on top on her. She pushed him and yelled out to her family, which caused Taulia to run outside of their house and go to his house.
The government claims that there were times when the defendant confronted the victim and tried to give her money to buy food and drinks. The victim did not accept the money from the defendant.
Police also interviewed the victim’s sister who reported the alleged incident.
According to the victim’s sister, one day last month around 4a.m, she woke up and went to use the bathroom. Upon her return she walked into their home and was shocked to see the defendant in his boxers kneeling next to her sister’s (victim) bed.
The sister did not say a word — but stood in front of the door and kept on looking at the defendant, who pretended he was looking for a CD next to where her sister (victim) was sleeping. A few moments later, the defendant stood up and walked away without saying a word to her.
The victim’s sister told police that she had a bad feeling about the incident — that the defendant had tried to do something bad to her sister —but also thought that it was not possible. However, when the defendant’s action was repeated on the early morning of Aug. 18th, the victim’s sister decided to inform law enforcement about what happened.
The victim’s sister told police that it was early in the morning around 4a.m when she heard her sister talking to somebody in a loud voice. She stood up and rushed to her sister’s room and saw the defendant leaving their house. In fear that something bad might happen to her sister, the victim’s sister decided that she should inform the police regarding this matter.
She further stated to police that during a conversation with her sister last month, her sister (victim) told her that Taulia has been trying to confront her and asked her to have sex with him. The victim told her sister that there were times when Taulia confronted her, she saw Taulia’s eye were red and it appeared that he was on something.
Officer apprehended Taulia from his residence and transported him to the TPS for questioning.
Before he was transported to the TPS, he was patted down for weapons or illegal drugs. During a body search, officers discovered a small stamp-sized baggie containing green leafy substance inside his front pocket.
The green leafy substance was later tested and the result was positive for THC, the active compound in marijuana.
After he was Mirandized, Taulia acknowledged that he understood his rights and wished to make a statement regarding the alleged incident.
Taulia strongly denied the allegation that he had sexually abused the victim. He stated that all the accusations from the victim and her sister are not true.
When asked about the baggie containing marijuana found in his pocket, Taulia admitted that the marijuana belonged to him.