Man charged with child molestation and rape in WA state is arrested in American Samoa
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A Tongan national with an arrest warrant issued by the Washington State Court for raping an underage girl back in 2005 was arrested by armed Special Agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHLS) last Friday here in American Samoa.
Paul Harman appeared in High Court yesterday for a Status Hearing before Chief Justice Michael Kruse.
However, the court rescheduled the hearing to next Wednesday.
Harman is remanded to custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) without bail to await his next court appearance.
He is represented by private attorney Charles Alailima while Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn is prosecuting the case.
Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga signed a warrant of arrest and extradition for Harman last Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018.
DHLS director Samana Ve’ave’a confirmed to Samoa News yesterday morning that his office is handling the case, and they will make sure Harman is escorted back to Washington State to answer to the charges against him.
According to Samana, Harman has an 8-year-old outstanding arrest warrant - since 2010 - from Washington State for failing to appear during a scheduled court hearing.
Samana said Harman was living in the territory a few years back and nobody knew about him or about this case.
It wasn't until last month when Harman applied for a permit to re-enter American Samoa, that his arrest warrant popped up in the system during a background check.
“Once we found out all the information regarding this case, we made contact with the Police Department in King County, WA, and notified them about this man. We are now working together with the King County Police Department until this case is resolved,” Samana told Samoa News.
According to Samana, Harman must be extradited to Washington next week after his court hearing. A member of the King County Police Department is scheduled to arrive in American Samoa next week to escort Harman back to the Pacific Northwest.
According to a copy of the arrest warrant from Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Laura Petregal, which was obtained by Samoa News, Harman was arrested on Dec. 16, 2008 and booked into custody at King County Jail for investigation on child molestation and child rape. He was later released on Dec. 19, 2008 after posting $100,000 bond.
On Dec. 23, 2008, Harman was charged with rape of a child in the first degree and child molestation in the first degree.
On Jan. 14, 2009, the court set release conditions for the defendant pending trial, and he remained out of custody on $100,000 bond on condition that he appear personally for court hearings and trial, and not leave the State of Washington without specific approval by the court.
On Mar. 31, 2010, the defendant failed to appear for his plea hearing and an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest, setting bail in the amount of $1,000 cash or surety bond.
According to charging and supporting documents, during the period of time between Dec. 21, 2005 to Dec. 14, 2008, the defendant molested and raped his minor child who was less than 12 years old. These crimes occurred in the city of Renton, King County, in the State of Washington.
Authorities in King County received notification from authorities in American Samoa of the defendant’s location in the territory and as a result, submitted their requisition application.