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Rape victims flee territory despite no passports

A Manu’a man in his 50’s accused of performing sexual acts upon his wife’s two nieces last year was scheduled have his jury trial next week. However, the government has moved to continue the jury trial, so arrangements could be made to bring the two complaining witnesses back in the territory.  

The defendant, Tau Malae is charged with two counts of sodomy, two charges of first degree sexual abuse, two counts of deviate sexual assault and rape. According to the motion for continuance by Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop, the two victims were relocated to the Independent State of Samoa on May 22, 2012.

Jessop told the court yesterday there is an ongoing investigation as to how the complaining witnesses, who are both minors, were able to travel back to Samoa when the government has their passports.

The Deputy AG said the government is anticipating filing additional charges in this case, against interested parties, that will have a significant impact on this particular case.  

Private Counsel Fiti Sunia who represents the defendant did not object to the government’s motion.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr granted the government’s motion and scheduled another jury trial date on September 11, 2012.

According to court affidavit, the incident only came to light when a relative of the two victims reported the matter to police. Both victims were 16 years of age when the incident occurred in mid 2011, says the affidavit.

Court documents say the first victim arrived in the middle of 2011, and in October the defendant went into the victim’s room while she was sleeping and attempted to have sex with her, however she refused.

It’s alleged the defendant touched the victim in a sexual manner but the victim was able to get away. The victim told police that these incidents occurred on several occasions.

The affidavit goes on to say the second victim claims the first incident occurred the first night she arrived at the defendant’s home in Ofu, Manu’a.

It’s alleged that while the second victim was sleeping, she was awakened when the defendant touched her in a sexual manner. The second night the defendant raped her, says the affidavit. Court documents say the victim lost count of how many times the defendant forced her to have sex with him.

The second victim claims the defendant threatened to beat her and send her back to Upolu if she told anyone what happened. Both victims claim that on December 22, 2011 they had a family meeting and the defendant apologized for his actions and assured both victims he will not do it again.

It’s alleged the defendant’s wife warned the victims not to say anything to anyone or the police or she’ll beat them. The court document says the defendant admitted touching both victims in a sexual manner. The affidavit states the defendant’s wife, (the victims auntie) told police she was aware about the sexual incidents that had been happening.   

She claims her husband apologized and told her what had happened and he also promised he would not repeat his actions.

The aunty told police she forgave her husband and she also told her nieces not to tell anyone or police what happened or she’ll beat them. The defendant who’s represented by the Public Defender’s office is in the custody of police on bail of $50,000.