Man charged with sexually abusing his two granddaughters
A 56-year-old man is being held on bail of $50,000 on six sexually related charges. The allegations of sexual acts involve two of his granddaughters since they were 6 and 9 years old, and the girls are now 15 and 18 years of age.
The grandfather made his initial appearance in District Court on Tuesday this week. Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant to protect the identity of the victims, and the crimes are alleged to have occurred in Nu’uuli.
The defendant is charged with two counts of sexual abuse first degree, two counts of child molestation and two counts of sodomy with a child.
According to the government’s case, on August 17, 2013 a woman contacted the police station in Tafuna reporting she had a voice recording of a telephone conversation with a 15-year-old female crying and explaining that her father had been sexually abusing her since she was a little girl. Police Officer Samantha Lam Yuen was assigned to investigate this case.
The government, in court documents, claims the defendant is the victims' grandfather, but he adopted the girls when they moved to American Samoa from California. They claim the defendant touched the older granddaughter inappropriately and then later progressed to the younger granddaughter.
Court filings say police proceeded to talk to the grandfather and he was asked to come to the police station for questioning. It's alleged the police during the interview informed the defendant that he was not in custody or under arrest, and the officers told him of the accusations.
In the interview, the defendant told police his two daughters had left home without saying anything to him. He then contacted his wife, who is currently off-island, and asked her to email their two daughters because he was worried. His wife called him back and told him the girls were staying with their Pastor, because they claimed that he (the defendant) had been touching them inappropriately.
According to court filings, the government claims that during the interview the defendant allegedly admitted he did touch his oldest daughter inappropriately but not the younger daughter. According to the defendant, he did not recall when the incident happened or how many times it happened but that he had touched his older daughter’s private parts and allegedly performed sex acts on the girl.
He further told police it all began when the daughter would come to him for something (such as money) and told him that he can do whatever he wants to her. This is when his inappropriate behavior began.
The government claims the father was sexually abusing both daughters since they were little girls and it has been happening continuously throughout the years. The last time the defendant inappropriately touched the girls was in July, 2013, say court filings.
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