13-year-old victim’s journal confiscated as evidence in attempted rape case
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 46-year-old stepfather from Samoa who is accused of sexually abusing his 13-year-old stepdaughter was arrested by police last month pursuant to an arrest warrant from the court. During his arrest, cops found drugs in his pocket.
(Samoa News has decided to withhold the name of the stepfather, to protect the 13-year-old. It should be noted that the Court affidavit provides the name of the stepfather, but the victim is referred to only as J.G.)
The defendant made his initial appearance in District Court last month.
The government filed two separate criminal cases against the defendant.
In the first case, the stepfather is charged with six felony charges, including sodomy, a class B felony, punishable by an imprisonment from 5 to 15 years; attempted rape and 3 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, both class D felonies. He’s also charged with endangering of a child, a class A misdemeanor.
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance; to wit, methamphetamine (meth), and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana, both felonies, punishable by an imprisonment of not less than five not more than ten years, or/and a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.
The court established the defendant’s bail at $50,000.
If he posts his bond, the court orders the usual caveats, including not to have direct or indirect contact with the victim in this case, or any of the government’s witnesses.
During his initial hearing yesterday, the defendant’s defense attorney informed the court that her client wished to waive his rights to a preliminary hearing, and let his case be bound over to the High Court for further court proceedings.
He is scheduled to appear in High Court this morning for his arraignment.
The government case against the defendant was reported to police on Feb. 25, 2021 by a woman who is related to the victim and her mother. The woman called the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and reported that a young girl, who was only identified in the court affidavit as J.G, was allegedly sexually abused by her stepfather.
Investigators from the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) were assigned to investigate this alleged incident. The victim in this case is a 13-year-old girl.
The woman who reported the matter told police that J.G was seen at her neighbor’s house last month and the following day at school, she asked J.G why was she at her neighbor’s house, to which she responded that she had run away from home because she was scared of her stepfather.
J.G told the woman that her stepfather would hit her with an extension cord, threaten her and had forced her to do adult stuff. Sometimes, she said, when her stepfather comes home late at night, she can smell a strong odor of alcohol inside the house. She also observed her stepfather smoking a pipe with some white stuff on the top.
J.G later left to stay with her mother’s brother and wife in the Tafuna area.
The reporter further told police that lately since the incident, J.G’s behavior has changed a lot: She seemed unhappy, lost, confused and depressed. Sometimes she observed her sitting outside of her aunt’s house crying.
The reporter also stated to police that on Feb. 25, when J.G walked into the store next to the school while she was standing inside the store, J.G told her that she was scared of her stepfather and she wanted to go to somewhere else so that her stepfather will not see her again. And that’s when the woman contacted the police for assistance.
The reporter also stated to police that on their way to the police station, J.G told her that her stepfather had sexual abused her by performing adult stuff on her. J.G also told the reporter that there were times her stepfather came into her room and touched her in a sexual manner. Those time, she smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from her stepfather’s breathe.
J.G was interviewed by police where she presented to police her written statement in the Samoan language. Her written statement to the police was translated.
The government claims that according to J.G, the defendant is her stepfather and that her biological father passed away.
The first alleged incident happened in September of last year when she was sleeping next to her stepfather. During this time, he allegedly touched her inappropriately. She was afraid and was threatened by her stepfather to not tell anyone or he would beat her with a wire or extension cord. Her stepfather then gave her $25 to buy what she wanted from the store.
The second alleged incident happened around midnight when the defendant was watching a X-rated movie and when the movie ended, he allegedly threatened and raped her. J.G said that she cried because it hurt but her stepfather instructed her not to tell to anyone what was happening between them.
J.G told her mother about what happened and her mother told her to leave it to her she would talk to her husband (defendant) about the incident. Whereby, being afraid she ran away from home.
J.G’s teacher was interviewed by investigators and stated that she noticed the change in J.G.’s behavior and advised J.G to be positive, strong and write a journal of incidents that she alleges happened to her. J.G’s journal was seized and in her journal, J.G talks about not being loved and that her stepfather and her mother are not her real parents.
J.G further wrote that the defendant is a bad person and mentioned her experience of what he had done to her — including how her stomach and her back hurt.
Her journal entries also include an incident when her stepfather sexually abused her after watching a sex movie, and about one night when he tried to rape her but she cried saying it hurt. She also noted that her mother was sleeping at the time when her stepfather allegedly tried to rape her.
Police were able to interview several witnesses regarding this matter including the victim’s mother, the victim’s mother’s sister-in-law and the neighbor.
The victim’s mother told police that on Sept. 2, 2020, her daughter (J.G) told her about her stepfather inappropriately touching her, and she then told her daughter leave it to her to confront him. She said when she did, the defendant told her he would never do such things to J.G anymore. The victim’s mother told police that she advised her husband (defendant) that if her daughter reported anything like this to her in the future, she would notify authorities immediately.
The victim’s mother also stated to police that J.G no longer stays with her; she is staying with her brother and his wife. She stated to police that her daughter (J.G) told her she did not want to live with them (mother and defendant) anymore because she’s afraid of her stepfather.
The victim’s mother’s sister-in-law told police that during the first week of September 2020, she received a call from J.G asking her to pick her (J.G) up; and she and her husband then went and picked J.G up and brought her to their house.
And, it was during that same week she strongly counseled her sister-in-law (the victim’s mother) and the defendant about what had happened to J.G. It was during that conversation that the stepfather apologized and asked for forgiveness. The stepfather admitted to everything J.G told her and her husband. The stepfather also told her and her husband that it was his drug problem that triggered everything and he will not do it again.
After several months of investigation, police apprehended the defendant at his home in Kokoland last month and interviewed him at the Central Police station. He was Mirandized, whereby he said he understood and waived his rights and agreed to write a statement.
The defendant admitted hitting J.G with an extension cord twice and throwing a phone at her, which hit the wall.
However, he denies the allegations of sexually abusing his stepdaughter. He further stated to police that he loved his stepdaughter very much and he would not do such things to her.
Before the stepfather was taken into the TPS for further investigation, he was patted down, and during the body search, cops discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance in his pocket. Cops also found a hand-rolled cigarette containing green leafy substance inside his wallet.
When questioned about the alleged illegal substances, the stepfather told officers that the substances belonged to him.