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Lady Naomi crew member arrested for alleged rape

Detectives of the Criminal Investigation Division with Department of Public Safety yesterday arrested a crew member of the Lady Naomi on allegations of a sexually related crime, says Deputy Commissioner of Public Safety Leiseau Laumoli.

Laumoli told Samoa News the “rape” incident was reported to the authorities yesterday morning and he cannot comment on the details surrounding the case.

However, he noted that CID Commander Lavata’i Taase Sagapolutele and his Detectives are currently investigating this matter after the incident was reported to police by passengers on the boat. Commander Sagapolutele declined to answer queries sent by Samoa News.

When the Detectives arrived at the wharf, no one was allowed to enter or exit the gate, which delayed checking in packages and pallets bound for Samoa for about an hour.

Samoa News understands that the crew member is alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year-old passenger during the early hours of Thursday morning, when the Lady Naomi was traveling from Samoa to American Samoa.

It’s unclear as to whether the American Samoa Government has jurisdiction over this matter, given that the incident occurred when the MV Lady Naomi was on the water between islands.

Samoa News asked Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop, who responded that theyare looking into that issue as they complete their investigation in the case.

In the meantime, the crew member, who is in his 20’s, is currently being held at the Tafuna Correctional Facility, waiting to see if the government is going to file charges against him.