Young local girl threatens suicide in social media post that goes viral
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A stepfather accused of having sexual intercourse with his stepdaughter over a 4-year period beginning when the victim was 12-years old is now in custody after he was arrested at the beginning of this month.
The alleged sexual relationship between the defendant and his stepdaughter came to light after the victim posted on social media that she wanted to commit suicide.
When police officers visited the family home after the girl posted on social media, officers heard the girl’s mother whisper to her and say, “Aua gei faia sau kala” (Don’t say anything).
The defendant made his initial appearance in Court two weeks ago.
He is charged with child molestation involving domestic violence, a class A felony, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years with no possibility of probation or parole, a fine of not less than $150 or both; 2 counts of rape and one count of sodomy, both class B felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than fifteen years, a fine of not less than $150, or both; one count of 1st-degree sexual abuse and incest, both class D felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Bail is set at $100,000.
During his initial appearance two weeks ago, the defendant, through his defense attorney exercised his rights to a preliminary examination (PX), which is now set for next week.
On May 4, 2022, a DPS police officer came across a viral message conversation that was posted on social media (instagram) about a possible suicidal individual. After discovering who the victim was and investigating for a few days, officers then found out where the possible suicidal individual resides.
The family is from Auma, Leone.
Three days later on May 7, several police officers proceeded to meet with the victim and her family. When officers arrived at the residence, a male walked out of the house and approached the officers. The male was later identified as the victim’s stepfather, the defendant in this matter.
Officers asked the defendant if he had a daughter named (S.U), and he replied, yes. The defendant then told officers that he would go and grab his wife so they could talk to her about the subject at hand.
Officers approached the defendant’s wife and informed her of what was going on with her daughter and that her daughter had posted on social media that she wanted to commit suicide. During this conversation, the daughter (victim) was inside the house.
When the woman went to get her daughter from the house to talk to officers, a police officer was following her and the officer heard the mother whisper to her daughter at the door, “Aua gei faia sau kala” (Don’t say anything) and they walked out of the house.
Officers informed the victim and her parents that all of them would be taken to the Leone Police Substation (LPS) to further investigate the matter and they all agreed.
All three parties were taken to the LPS and ultimately placed in different rooms for interview.
Investigators asked the victim if she was comfortable talking to them alone or if she wanted her mother to be present during the interview. The victim stated that she didn’t want her mother to be there with her. The victim was then moved to another room for an interview.
When asked why she posted the suicidal post that was viral on social media, the victim replied that she posted it because she’s ashamed of what’s happening with her and her stepfather, the defendant in this matter.
According to the victim’s statement, she has had sex with her stepfather for more than 3 years. It all started when she was in 6th grade. She remembered that she was sleeping at night, when she felt like someone was untying her pants. When she woke up, she said her stepfather was raping her.
The same night, her stepfather came up to her room and raped her again. At the same time, he whispered to her and said, “E sili ai loa pe a gogofo kaua” (It would be for the best now that we stay together).
The victim told investigators that when they first started having sex, she didn’t know at that time that they were having sex. She had never learned what sex was. It never occurred to her that was what was happening until she learned of it at a later time.
During their sexual intercourse, most of the time she refused, but he forced her. There were also times that she tried to stop him, or even tried to yell out but he pinned her down to the bed or covered her mouth so no one could hear her.
Sometimes, she would just let him do whatever he wanted with her because she felt helpless. She had thoughts of telling her mother about everything but deep down she knew that her mother would not believe her. So she had kept it to herself and hadn’t told anyone.
The victim stated that her stepfather is an opportunist when it comes to having sex with her. Most of the time they have sex, either her mother is at work, or he got off early from work, or he just lets the boys go out to do chores leaving the house all to themselves.
When the victim was asked to give a rough estimation of how many times they have sex a week, she stated that they have had sex approximately four times a week — since she was in the 6th grade.
The last time the victim and the defendant had intercourse was Friday, May 6, 2022 at about 6p.m when the victim and the defendant had just gotten home from dropping off her mother at work.
When they got home, the victim’s male cousin was watching T.V in the house and the defendant chased him out, locked the house and had sex with the victim.
During the interview, the victim showed how traumatized she was by the abuse and disgusted with what she has been through alone for three to four years.
The defendant was Mirandized and told what his stepdaughter had said about their intimate relationship.
It took a while for the defendant to confess to investigators, that he did have sex with his stepdaughter inside the living room or their rooms when he’s drunk and it has been going on for four years and some months.
The defendant recalled the first incident back in 2018 when he returned home after playing pool with some friends at about 2a.m, he was really drunk and he saw his stepdaughter lying on the bed and went straight to her and had sex with her.
The defendant also stated that his wife has known about their sexual activity from the start. He had told her about it and they talked and talked about the situation and his wife forgave him and told him not to let it happen again.
However, seeing his stepdaughter everyday was very tempting and made him want to have sex with her all the time, making it hard for him to stop.
The victim’s mother was also Mirandized.
When the victim’s mother was asked if she had known that her husband had been having a relationship with her daughter, she didn’t seem shocked nor surprised.
She just sat in the chair and stared at the table in front of her for a few moments before she looked up and uttered that she had no idea that anything was happening between her daughter and her husband.
She didn’t shed a tear when investigators explained to her the timeframe of the sexual abuse of the defendant and the victim.
After a while, the victim’s mother confessed that her husband did come to her and talk to her about the first incident back in 2018 and they settled it amongst themselves.
Investigators also asked her why she told her daughter at their residence to not say anything to police officers, and she nervously stuttered that she didn’t know why she told her that.
The defendant was booked and confined while his wife was released awaiting further investigation.