New charges filed against one defendant charged with rape of 14 year old girls
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the defendants in the alleged rape of two 14-year-old girls is facing additional charges filed by the government this week.
Nick Mataia, who was beaten by other inmates inside a cell at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) last month appeared in District Court yesterday morning for his initial appearance on the new case against him. He is represented by Assistant Public Defender Anna Wells, while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.
Mataia is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, a class D felony punishable by not less than 5 or more than 10 years in jail, and a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $20,000, or both; and unlawful possession of a control substance to wit; methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, a felony punishable by not more than 20 years in jail and a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.
District Court Judge Pro Temp Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde established Mataia’s bond at $20,000.
If he posts bond, the court has ordered that he remain law abiding, not leave or attempt to leave the territory, and he is to surrender his travel documents to the government’s attorney. He is also ordered not to have direct or indirect contact with the victims or the government’s witnesses.
Tauiliili-Langkilde denied the defense motion for bond reduction.
Wells told the court the additional charges stem from the same case, for which the government has already filed charges against him last month. She asked for no additional bond, because the new charges are based on the same allegations.
She added that there are no new facts supporting the new complaint against her client.
The prosecutor strongly opposed the defense’s motion. According to Dunn, the additional charges are in the new complaint and affidavit of support.
Tauiliili-Langkilde said the defendant’s first case is now before the High Court, and she has no jurisdiction to discuss it. However, the new case is before her, and the court feels that bail already set is a reasonable amount.
She then ordered for bond to remain at $20,000.
Mataia is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 23rd for his preliminary election.
Last month, Mataia and two other males were arrested and charged for allegedly raping two 14-year-old girls. Mataia, along with Apisaloma Timu and Loma Iosia were each charged with rape, 2 counts of first degree sexual abuse - both felonies - and a class A misdemeanor of endangering the welfare of a child.
District Court Judge Fiti Sunia, who handled the initial appearances, established bail for all three defendants at $100,000 each.
The charges against the trio stem from an alleged incident where two minors girls were involved in sexual activities. The two girls told investigators that they smoked meth and later had sexual intercourse with the three defendants.
A week after Mataia was arrested, he was allegedly beaten at the TCF by some inmates. As the result, three inmates have been charged: Manu Lefatia, Asofa Titio and Reggie Va’avale.