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Dear Editor,

I would like to congratulate, salute and embrace the General Secretary; the most Reverend Reupena Alo, representing the most precious and highest faith based office and speaking for the entire Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa—the church that boasts of being the largest population of Christian worshipers in American Samoa.

Your office’s decision is an inspiration and is praise worthy for exercising our Christian duty in serving God’s educator who publicly admits to have knowingly seduced, raped and impregnated God’s innocent child for his gratification.

For our beloved Holy church to willingly sanction sexual predators by employing this child rapist into the CCCAS  Holy grounds, is indeed commendable and merciful.

Does this mean the church will inform and caution the resident families and children of the Kanana Fou CCCAS compound and the schools of the rapists presence? Or will they petition the Most High through spiritual intervention to conceal this rapist in the midst of the ignorant flock? Will he be justified by deploying a lay preacher to monitor the rapist’s free unfettered, unsupervised movement, on and off the religious compound?

I am an advocate against Family Violence—especially against child sex abuse. The CCCAS church speaking for God to hire this child rapist has just rendered the child victim and her family’s life-long trauma, irrelevant and insignificant. Where is God’s love, compassion and unsparing endeavor to support child victims of sexual violence?

While the child victim and her infant are isolated behind closed doors, the church has opened its arms to embrace, sanction and provide for her rapist. He is a sex offender who will qualify to be placed on probation after serving only 1/3 of his 10 yr sentence. One wonders if God blames the child for her own assault.

Before allowing a sex offender the privilege of work release, he should be receiving professional psychiatric evaluation and counseling to help him with his issues so that he will not be a danger to society.  It is the government’s responsibility to provide such assistance. Until such assistance is provided, the sex offender should remain behind bars.

Instead of investing in the rapist that has not even served his sentence long enough, why not invest church money and resources into the victim’s future? Help the victim to regain self esteem and confidence. Help victims through a mentoring program to re-enter society that has stigmatized them. Help them to understand that it is not their fault. Help them with coping skills to return and complete their education or job opportunities. Help them with parenting skills if they have been impregnated through rape.

Does the church even recognize or acknowledge that children are being brutalized sexually? Would the church even consider supporting the infant or victims as they are willing to pay the rapist under the superficial guise for “restitution/child support”?  These raped children can be better served by the church, restored and saved by the Grace of God to become future and productive citizens.

I, too, am a Christian who loves my church and believe in forgiveness. But I will not let a sex offender out on work release at the risk or cost of our children’s well being or mental health. Not when we as a professional society have done nothing to rehabilitate the criminal. To God be the Glory and judge of us all.

Ipu Avegalio Lefiti
Advocate on behalf of Victims of Family Violence