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Uncle is arrested for alleged sexual acts with 11-yr-old niece

Territorial Correctional Facility, TCF

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man alleged to have performed oral sex on his 11-year-old niece is being held at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) with bail set at $30,000.

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

The man made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning where he entered a plea of 'not guilty' to the charges against him. A preliminary examination election is set for tomorrow, Mar. 28.

According to the government's case, it was earlier this month on Mar. 13th that police were contacted regarding a report of alleged sexual abuse in Nuuuli. It was the victim's aunty who filed the complaint against the defendant.

According to the aunty, the allegations surfaced after her niece had confided in a cousin — both girls attend a local private elementary school. Subsequently, school officials were alerted.

When questioned by police, the 11-year-old victim said both incidents occurred earlier this year in January. The girl recalled that she spent the weekend at her mother's place, and that's where the defendant allegedly touched her private parts.

Court documents state that the defendant and his wife live in the same house as the victim's mother. (He is her brother-in-law).

The victim told police she remembers that particular day, because it was only a few days after her birthday on Jan. 11th.

She said her first encounter with the defendant occurred when she was using the restroom. She told police that she noticed her uncle "walking in and out of the bathroom multiple times."

She alleges that while she was trying to pull her pants up, her uncle "suddenly came inside the bathroom, knelt down in front of her" and performed oral sex on her.

Afterwards, she said, her uncle told her not to tell anyone.

A second incident occurred the very next day. According to the victim, she was swimming at a waterfall near her mother's home in Nuuuli with the defendant's three minor children. Her uncle joined them later and while in the water, her uncle grabbed her by the waist, pulled her close and put his hands in her underpants, touching her private parts.

She told police that was the last time she went to Nuuuli and she "felt very sad, scared, and at times, could not hold her tears because she was afraid" that her uncle "might violate her again," according to the court affidavit.

The defendant is currently in custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). He is charged with sodomy, two counts of first degree sexual abuse, and endangering the welfare of a child.

It was revealed in court yesterday that the defendant has pending matters from 2017 and a bench warrant was served yesterday morning. For that matter, bail is set at $500 and a status hearing is scheduled for tomorrow morning. Charges include public peace disturbance and third degree assault.