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Uncle accused of molesting his 13-year-old niece

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of molesting his 13-year-old niece in 2018 is now in custody after he was arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court.

Samoa News is not disclosing the defendant’s identity to protect the privacy of the victim.

The defendant appeared in District Court last week.

He is charged with one count of child molesting, a class A felony punishable by imprisonment for a term not less than ten (10) years nor more than thirty (30) years.

Bail is set at $50,000.

Preliminary examination is scheduled for Friday next week, Apr. 9, 2021.


On Mar. 22, 2018 a man walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to file a report about his wife’s uncle (the defendant in this matter) who had been sexually abusing his 13-year-old daughter.

According to the victim’s father, he had previously lived with the defendant in Vaitogi, but they were not on good terms so he moved out to Fagaima. He returned to Vaitogi to get a refrigerator but when the defendant refused, the victim’s father went to police for assistance.

While at the police station the victim’s father consulted with a police detective and mentioned he suspected that the defendant had previously had a sexual relationship with the defendant’s biological niece and was concerned for the defendant’s daughter, who was still living with the defendant in Vaitogi.

A police detective advised the victim’s father to a talk to his daughter about the matter, but the victim’s father did not feel comfortable talking to his daughter. The victim’s father asked his wife’s niece who lived together with the defendant and the victim to talk to the victim about what the defendant allegedly did to her.

A few days later, the female living with the defendant and the victim called the victim’s father and said that they needed to talk about the matter.

The female was crying and explained that the victim had been sexually abused by the victim’s uncle (defendant) and another guy (currently off-island). The victim’s father was able to escort his daughter (victim) to the TPS for questioning. She was interviewed by two police detectives who investigated the matter.

During the interview, the victim told detectives that in 2014 when she was in 5th grade and ten-years-old, she remembered an incident where her uncle (defendant) pushed her on to a bed and took off her clothes before he sexually abused her.

The victim told investigators that the female who had lived with the defendant and the victim told her that the defendant had molested her during her junior year of high school. The female (who is the second victim) is now 28 years old.

Investigators also questioned the second victim regarding this incident. She told investigators that she questioned the first victim about the defendant after being asked to talk to the victim by the victim’s father.

The second victim said she noticed a change in the first victim when they were living together, that the first victim would cry every time her father argued with the defendant, and looked depressed most of the time.

The second victim suspected the first victim had gone through the same thing she experienced as a teenager. The first victim told the second victim about being molested by the defendant and another man several times and the second victim began to cry because it brought back memories of when the defendant molested her during her junior year of high school.

The second victim further stated that every time she took a shower the defendant would try and peep at her, and would sexually touch her every time the family slept together.

Detectives were able to interview another witness who also lived in the same family  house with the defendant and the two victims. According to the witness’s statement to police, he remembered one night where the defendant asked him to come to his (defendant’s) place to drink beer with him.

The witness went to the defendant’s home and hung out with him and another guy at the back of the defendant’s house. In the middle of the drinking session, the defendant told the witness about what he did to the first victim. The defendant told the witness that he entered the house and sexually abused the first victim while the second victim was sleeping in the living room.