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Young male accused of sexual abuse of 15-year-old


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An 18-year-old male has been accused for the alleged sexual abuse of a 15-year-old female.

Michael Taupau is facing three criminal counts:

Count 1: Sexual Abuse in the First Degree — a class D felony punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, and a fine of up to $5,000.

Count 2: Indecent Exposure — a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, and a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

Count 2: Endangering the Welfare of a Child — a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, and a fine of up to $1,000, but not less than $150, or both.

Bail was set at $5,000.

On August 25, 2023, the police Criminal Investigation Division received a call from the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) concerning a 15-year-old girl, “identified as K.S., who was the alleged victim of a sexual assault perpetrated by her boyfriend, Michael Taupau.”

K.S. and her mother reported the matter at the TPS, and an interview was conducted with K.S.

In the interview, K.S. explained that she moved to her sister’s house on March 19, 2023, where she met Mr. Taupau.

K.S. said the defendant had a crush on her, and she started dating him on Mar. 23, 2023, and on the same day had sexual relations with him.

She further noted that on April 15, 2023, Taupau forced her “to have sex with him without her consent.” K.S. added that Taupau later engaged with her in a fight, “and they both ended up having sexual intercourse.” She described the sexual acts that they conducted on that day.

On April 16, 2023, she said they also had sexual intercourse during a shower; and the last incident happened on August 18, 2023, at Taupau's residence.

On October 17, 2023, police successfully located Taupau at his residence, and he was told of the on-going investigation pertaining to K.S., “to which the suspect indicated his understanding.” The police officer speaking with Taupau “observed K.S. also within the confines of” Taupau’s guesthouse.

Subsequently, both Taupau and K.S. were taken to the Fagatogo Police Headquarters for further investigation.

K.S. was interviewed again, and in the affidavit she is said to have told police that she had sexual intercourse with Taupau again — twice — once on October 15, when he forced her to have oral sex with him, and once on October 16, when they had sexual relations.

Taupau was Mirandized on October 17, 2023, and made a statement.

According to Taupau, “he admitted engaging in consensual sexual relations with K.S. during their prior romantic relationship.”

According to the affidavit, “the mother of suspect was aware of the relationship between the suspect and the victim,” but not of the “sexual relationship between the suspect and the victim.”

Both the defendant and the victim are U.S. nationals.