Alleged victim in Chief of Staff Fiu's sexual abuse case speaks out
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The young woman who has alleged she was sexually abused by the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Fiu Johnny Saelua two years ago breaks her silence. She told Samoa News, during a one-on-one interview last Friday that she was shocked to learn through the newspaper that Fiu’s case was filed in court last week.
“I was never notified by the attorney nor the lead investigator about the status of the case. I’m the victim and I deserve to know about the case update,” the alleged victim said.
“I’m willing to testify in court so that everyone hears my voice and understands my side of the story,” she said.
Fiu is scheduled to appear in District Court this morning at 11a.m for his pretrial conference on a misdemeanor charge after a felony charge was dismissed without prejudice last Thursday.
He is represented by private attorney Marcellus T. Uiagalelei while prosecuting the case is private attorney, David Vargas, who was appointed by the Court last year to be the Independent Prosecutor in this case.
The 33-year-old, mother of two tearfully shared her side of the story during the interview claiming that she still suffers from nightmares — that if her children were left behind when two former immigration officers tried to forcibly deport her and her husband in 2016, she would never have seen them again.
She believes her children would have had a life of bondage and slavery like she alleges she, her husband, and mother did under Fiu’s roof.
Today, she wants to know who signed the order to deport them and why that person wanted them deported, and she is willing to testify in court for the sake of her children, and tell her story to the world for what she claims is the injustice they suffered.
According to the alleged victim, it was 4 years ago in mid-2014 when the alleged verbal sexual abuse by the “man” whom she called a “father” started inside his own house, and continued for two years.
“There were times when I was inside the room with my baby when this man opened the door without knocking and made his way inside. I then picked up my baby and made our way outside of the room while he was still standing inside the room,” she alleges.
According to the alleged victim, throughout the 2-year period, this man continued the verbal and physical sexual abuse, but she continued to hide it from her husband, mother, and even the man’s wife, for fear that her husband might do something bad if he knew about it.
“It was in 2016 during the election campaign when an incident happened in a public area, when this man touched me in a sexual manner. I wasn’t aware that my husband saw the incident until he asked me one night if I am having an affair with Fiu,” the woman alleges.
According to the victim, she did not want to tell her husband about what this man was doing to her, but after she was beaten up by her Father and her husband after they were suspicious that she was having an affair with Fiu, that is when she explained everything to her husband.
It was the same night she was assaulted by her father and husband that they moved out from Fiu’s home and went to stay with another family.
After speaking to their sponsor (who is the sister of Fiu), they decided with her husband that they needed to go back to Fiu’s family and thank them for all the good things they had done for their family. She also explained to Fiu’s wife was the reason behind their decision to leave their family and stay with another family.
According to the alleged victim, it was a couple of weeks after they moved out from Fiu’s family home when two immigration officers visited the new place where they were staying, and informed them that they had a letter from their sponsor, who wished to terminate their sponsorship.
Furthermore, the two immigration officers informed them that they were required to come with them to their main office in Utulei, because their boss wanted to discuss something — between them and their sponsor.
The couple agreed and they left with the two immigration officers, leaving their two young children with the family they were staying with.
“While transporting us to the immigration main office in Utulei, one of the immigration officer’s cell phones kept ringing and during the conversation, I heard the immigration officer while speaking on his phone saying, “Chief, we’re on our way to the main office.”
However, instead of having a meeting with immigration or their sponsor at the immigration main office, the victim stated that the two immigration officers informed her and her husband that their plans had changed — they were to meet their boss and their sponsor at the wharf in Fagatogo instead.
The victim said it was during that time she and her husband realized that they were going to be deported to Samoa.
“Once I realized that we were going to be deported to Samoa, my first concern was my children, who were with a family in Leone. I was worried that if we were deported, I would not see my children again,” the alleged victim said.
It was two immigration officers, who were processing passengers that day, upon learning that there were no official documents ordering the couple to be deported to Samoa, that contacted victims advocate Mrs. Ipu Lefiti, and the couple’s forced departure was prevented.
Samoa News should point out that we reached out to Mrs. Lefiti for comments about Fiu’s case after the District Court last Thursday afternoon dismissed the felony charge of first degree sexual abuse against Fiu, after the government failed to produce any witnesses during the preliminary examination (PX) that was held late afternoon.
One of the questions Samoa News asked Mrs. Lefiti was whether or not the alleged victim(s) was still on island. She responded that she would bring the woman to the Samoa News office the following day for an interview.
When Fiu’s case was called for PX last Thursday afternoon, the court appointed IP moved for the court to exclude everyone not related to the case, including the media. However, his motion was denied by District Court Judge Sunia.
Sunia then asked the prosecutor to call their witness to the stand. That's when Vargas informed the court that the government does not have a witness. Lead investigator, Capt. P. Clemens was sitting beside counsel Vargas during the hearing.
Sunia’s responded, “Well, because the government does not wish to call any witnesses, there is no reason for the court to determine if there is any probable cause to bind the felony charge over to the High Court. So, the felony charge against Fiu is now dismissed without prejudice.”