Two more alleged sexual abuse cases in court
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In the interest of protecting the victims, Samoa News is withholding the names of the defendants in each case. The court affidavits provide the names of the defendants, but not the victims.
A stepfather accused of sexually abusing his 18-year-old stepdaughter and his 15-year-old niece is now in custody after he was arrested last week.
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last week.
He’s being held on bail of $50,000.
He is charged with one count of child molesting, a class A felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years not more than thirty years; two counts of sodomy, a class B felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment for five to fifteen years and one count of 1st degree sexual abuse, a class D felony, punishable by term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
One of the conditions of release — if the defendant is able to post bail — is that he is to have no direct or indirect contact with the victims or any of the government’s witnesses.
According to the government’s case, the two victims involved in this case are an 18-year-old and a 15-year-old.
On Mar. 8, 2021 about 8:21a.m, the 18-year-old victim walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to file a complaint against her stepfather (the defendant) for sexually abusing her.
(Samoa News refers to the 18-year-old victim as the 1st victim, and the 15-year-old victim as the 2nd victim.)
According to the 1st victim’s statement to investigators, the first incident occurred over five years ago around June of 2015 when she was 12 years old. She remembers that on an unknown date and time, the defendant asked her to massage his legs because he has arthritis. However while she massaged the defendant’s legs, he asked her to feel up on his thighs and further told her to touch him inappropriately.
The second incident happened on Feb. 5, 2021, the day before the victim’s 18th birthday. On this date, the defendant asked the victim to come massage his legs with the ultimatum that if she doesn’t have sex with him, he will not do anything for her on her birthday and that he wouldn’t pay for any of her school’s extracurricular activities, especially her graduation stuff.
While the victim massaged the defendant’s legs, he asked her to feel up on his thighs and further told her to touch him sexually. The defendant then sexually abused the victim.
On Mar. 5th, 2021, the victim came home from school and saw that her younger cousin that lives with them crying. The 1st victim asked the 2nd victim why was she crying and her cousin explained to her that the defendant had sexually abused her.
The 2nd victim explained that when she got home from running an errand, the defendant had asked her if she could massage his legs. She obeyed and they headed to the defendant’s room. It was when the 2nd victim was massaging the defendant’s legs that he told her to continue her massage up on his thighs.The defendant also asked her to touch him in a sexual manner. When the defendant asked her to remove her top, she stood up and left the room.
When questioned by investigators, the defendant admitted to the allegations and immediately confessed.
A 55-year-old man accused of sexually abusing his 16-year-old niece was arrested after authorities were tipped off by the victim’s aunt.
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court two weeks ago. He later waived his right to a preliminary examination and the case was bound over to High Court where he entered a ‘not guilty’ plea during arraignment.
The government filed two separate cases against the defendant.
In the first case, he is charged with sodomy; attempted rape; three counts of first degree sexual abuse — all felonies — and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child.
Bail is set at $35,000 and a pretrial conference is set for May of this year.
One of the conditions of release if the defendant is able to post bail is that he is to have no direct or indirect contact with the victim or any of the government’s witnesses.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both unclassified felonies, punishable by imprisonment from five to ten years, a fine of up to $20,000, or both.
Bail in this case is set at $10,000.
It was the victim’s aunt (her mother’s sister) who notified police about the alleged sexual abuse. According to the government, the defendant and the victim’s father are first cousins.
The aunt told police that her niece was seen at the defendant’s house two months ago and when she asked what she was doing there, the girl said her uncle (defendant) asked her to come over and cook for him because he is unable to walk due to a foot injury.
The aunt recalled that in the middle of January of this year, her niece called and asked if she could pick her up. The woman said she and her husband took the victim to their house, where she opened up to them and told them about what her uncle did to her one night in January.
According to what the victim told her aunt, the defendant touched her inappropriately several times in his house and in his vehicle. She further claims that her uncle touched himself in front of her and made her watch.
The victim provided a Samoan written statement to police. According to her, the first alleged incident happened in July this year while she was asleep at home with her two younger sisters. She said her uncle came over, woke her up, and told her to come to his house to cook for him.
At that time, the girl alleges that her uncle touched her inappropriately through her clothing. She said she was afraid because her uncle threatened her, saying that if she told anyone, he would beat her with a hose.
The second alleged incident took place after the defendant was done watching an X-rated movie. According to the girl, her uncle threatened and forced her to take off her shorts, and he allegedly performed sex acts on her.
The girl said she cried in pain and told her sister, who advised her to tell their mother. The victim told police that she shared her story with another uncle (defendant’s brother) who apologized on behalf of his brother and assured the victim that he would speak to the defendant about the alleged incident.
Police interviewed the defendant’s brother, who confirmed the girl’s story. He said the victim told him last month about his brother touching and rubbing her sexually. He said he told the victim to leave it to him, that he’d confront his brother about it and when he did, his brother told him that he would not do such things to the victim anymore.
Police apprehended the defendant at his friend’s home last month and took him in for questioning.
The defendant allegedly admitted to performing sexual acts on the victim between August and September this year.
He further told police that the devil tempted him to do the things he did to his niece, and he fell for it because he’s so lonely — and he wanted someone to talk to and share his thoughts.
THE DRUG CASE
Before the defendant was taken into the TPS for questioning, he was patted down and police found a small black pouch inside the rear pocket of his pants.
Cops opened the black pouch and discovered two cut up straws containing white crystalline substance, along with one small stamped-size baggies containing green leafy substances.
The white crystalline substance tested positive for methamphetamine, while in a separate test the green leafy substances tested positive for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.
When questioned by investigators regarding the drugs, the defendant immediately apologized for his action and asked investigators to forgive him. According to the defendant’s statement, his life was messed up ever since he’s been using illegal drugs. Not only did he hang out with the wrong friends but he also chose to ignore his family. As a result, he lost his job and he also lost everything in his life due to his drug problem.
When asked where he got the meth and marijuana, the defendant said he got it from a friend, who is a taxi driver. When asked for his friend’s name, the defendant refused to reveal it.