Update: Man allegedly flashes porn at Fa’asao Marist HS girls

Man’s name and photograph still waiting ‘confirmation’
fili@samoanews.com

After an incident in which a man showed female students pornographic material, Fa’asao Marist High School principal Mapuleolo Kamo Koloi quickly took measures to ensure the safety of all students at the Catholic high school.

And the high school’s PTA president J. Victor Langkilde has called for “tough punishment” against predators who “prey on our children.”

A photograph of the man, allegedly involved in the incident, circulated last Thursday morning on social media and was quickly shared by others with their friends and relatives, both in American Samoa and off island.

Information, embedded with the photo, asked parents to “please talk with your children about talking to strangers” and noted the “guy” — referring to the photo — “is going around exposing children to pornography” and had done so at FMHS. Additionally, a police report has been filed and there are witnesses.

“BE AWARE and talk to your kids,” according to the information, which is labeled as a PSA — or public service announcement.

Several people, who either contacted Samoa News or were contacted by Samoa News for verification, have already identified the man in the photo. However, what’s not clear or confirmed is whether the man involved in the incident is the same man in the photo.

There was no immediate comment from the Department of Public Safety to Samoa News questions last Friday about the incident, but Samoa News understands police are already reviewing the incident.

The FMHS principal said that the incident occurred after 4p.m last Wednesday, at the time female students were waiting for their ride home or waiting for other female students, following a softball practice. Mapuleolo said the man allegedly showed the female students “explicit” material on his cell phone.

“The school immediately took measures to ensure the safety of our students,” Mapuleolo said in a phone interview last Friday morning. “We also started an awareness program among other things, to make sure that our students don’t talk to strangers, seek help, always be careful. Safety of our students is priority.”

Mapuleolo said a police report has been filed and the female students, who were approached by the man, have already spoken with the police. He, however, wasn’t sure if the photo of the man that’s being circulated on social media is the alleged perpetrator, saying they don’t name the man, but the girls provided information to the police.

Langkilde, a former FMHS principal, said he was at the school campus around 4:30 p.m conducting a softball team practice on the playing field when “I was approached by a parent who came to pick up his daughter. The parent asked if I saw a red colored vehicle drive into the campus by a male individual and engage two female students in conversation.”

Langkilde said he told the parent he didn’t as he was conducting training for the team.

“I asked why, and [the parent] replied that the two girls came to him frantic and afraid as this person was asking questions about any staff being on campus and started showing pornographic pictures to the students,” Langkilde recalled during an interview last Friday afternoon.

“This individual left the campus as parents were driving in to pick up their children from practice,” he said, adding that the man was later identified by name. Langkilde provided the man’s name, and it’s the same name shared with Samoa News by others, who had seen the picture on social media.

However, Samoa News has also been told that it is not ‘confirmed’ that the man in the photo in the PSA is the man that approached the girls.  And, because the man is not charged at this point, and the case is of an alleged incident, Samoa News is withholding identifying the man by name, and is also not publishing his photo.

Langkilde said, “As a parent, I was very angry with this person but very afraid for our children,” and noted that this will be discussed at the PTA meeting this week. He also said the school and principal have been made aware of this issue and hopes the Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago and Catholic Education Office have been informed as well.

“This is a problem that all schools and families need to be aware of as times have become very difficult with the many social issues we face as a community,” Langkilde said. “The leaders of our territory need to be more pro-active with awareness of the many issues facing our youth but also providing very tough punishment against those who prey on our children.”

The mother of a female student, who attends the school but wasn’t on campus during the alleged incident said over the weekend that she is “angry, disgusted and furious” that the man, “would do what he did, showing such photos to young girls” and this “shows pure disrespect by this individual.”

The mother, who asked not be identified, said she has already spoken with her daughter to be aware of her surroundings, don’t talk to strangers, and always report to authorities such incidents. She said she is worried for students in nearby schools — Leone Midkiff Elementary and Leone High School — of being subjected to the same thing.

“You see this kind of thing on TV news from the US and other countries and you also read it in the newspaper, but I’m shocked and saddened it’s happening at home in American Samoa,” she added.

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