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Grandmother reveals “horrifying tale” of rape within her family

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 47-year-old uncle accused of raping his 16-year-old niece was arrested last week and is now in custody. He made his initial appearance before the Court two weeks ago.

When arrested by police, illegal drugs were discovered in the defendant’s possession.

The government claims that the alleged sexual abuse began last year, when the victim was 15 years old. To protect the identity of the victim — a minor — Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name. (The defendant, who is not new to the court system, is first cousin with the victim’s mother.)

It was the victim’s grandmother who reported the alleged incident to police on July 21, 2020.

According to the woman, her nephew (the defendant) whom she warned previously about not coming near her residence was seen roaming around her house, as if trying to provoke something.

When cops responded, the woman told the police that her nephew left after she scolded him to leave. When asked why she doesn’t want her nephew to come around, the woman shared a horrifying tale.

She said several family members had caught her nephew doing nasty things to her 16-year-old granddaughter two months before. She further told police that the matter was never reported to authorities because it is an embarrassment to their family.

She said she decided to call police when her nephew showed up at her home that night, because it appears that he doesn’t care about what happened to her granddaughter.

According to the woman’s statement to police, it was early July that her grandson (the victim’s brother) caught her nephew (the defendant) doing nasty things to the victim in the outdoor kitchen.

The woman said her grandson told her what happened and when she confronted her nephew that same evening, he allegedly admitted to it and immediately apologized for his action. He then begged her for forgiveness saying he’s remorseful for what he did. She further stated that prior to the July incident, the defendant was caught multiple times last year, performing sexual acts in the victim’s bedroom, while the victim was sleeping.

According to the woman, there were two other incidents last year, where she caught the defendant trying to wake the victim up to go with him, but she intervened and scolded him to leave.

When questioned by police, the victim confirmed everything her grandmother told authorities including that the sexual abuse started last year, with the last encounter being in July of this year.

On that day, the victim said, she had gone to the outdoor kitchen early in the morning to get some snacks, and the defendant was there. As the victim was trying to exit, her uncle blocked the doorway. The girl asked her uncle to move but he said no. That’s when the defendant pushed the girl to the side, forcibly removed her clothes, and proceeded to sexually abuse her.

The victim told police she tried to push her uncle off, telling him he was hurting her but her uncle continued to hold her down and perform sexual acts on her.

Moments later, the victim’s brother walked in and caught their uncle in the act. The victim’s brother immediately ran back inside the house pretending that he never saw anything. The defendant gave the victim $20 and instructed her not to tell anyone.

According to the victim, the sexual abuse started last year, when she was 15 years old. She recalled the first incident, saying she was in her mother’s room when their uncle knocked on the door. She said she opened the door; her uncle walked in, and locked the door behind him.

She said her uncle told her he wanted to have sex with her but she refused and told him to leave. She said her uncle grabbed her arm, pushed her on to the bed and raped her.

The victim said she tried to push her uncle away but he was too strong. He merely pushed the victim’s hands away, held her down, and continued to force himself on her.

She said when he was done; her uncle gave her $20 before he stood up and left, without saying a word to her.

On separate occasions, according to the victim, her uncle would catch her in the outdoor kitchen or even her bedroom, late at night or early in the morning, and would do nasty things to her before allegedly raping her.

 She said her uncle would tell her not to tell anyone, and he would give her $10- $20 to remain silent. The victim said she didn’t tell anyone about her encounters with her uncle, because she was embarrassed and that she might be blamed for it.

An eyewitness — a female relative — interviewed by police said she caught the defendant masturbating in her room while the victim was sleeping in the same room. She said she asked the defendant what he was doing in her room but the defendant told her to be quiet; however she reported the incident to the victim’s grandmother who scolded the defendant and chased him out of the house.

The victim’s brother, also an eyewitness, told police that in July of this year, he caught their uncle performing sexual acts on his sister, while keeping his hand over his sister’s mouth.

Last month, police went to the home of a friend of the defendant in Tafuna and apprehended him, and the defendant was transported to the police station for questioning.

Before the defendant was transported to the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) for questioning, the defendant was patted down and police discovered a baggie containing white crystalline substance and a glass pipe also containing white crystalline substance.

The white crystalline substance was tested and the result was positive for methamphetamine.

When asked about the allegations, the defendant said to police, “With all due respect to you police officers, there is nothing else we can do because it happened; but I tell you, the truth is, this girl (victim) agreed to have sexual intercourse. Even though I told her that I could be locked up for it, she would not yield.”

The defendant admitted to having a sexual relationship with the victim and allegedly confirmed what the victim and her brother said had happened.

According to the government, the defendant lives with relatives near the victim’s home but he goes to the victim’s home everyday to help out with chores for his aunt, who is also the victim’s grandmother.

The defendant further stated to investigators that he’s truly sorry for what he did and he deserved to be locked up for his actions.

The defendant made his initial appearance in Court last month.

The government has filed two separate cases against the defendant.

In the first case, the defendant is charged with two counts of rape; two counts of sodomy; and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, all felonies. He is also facing two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor.

In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a felony.

Bond is set at $30,000.


The defendant was convicted by the High Court in 2009 pursuant to a plea agreement with the government for the charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana).

He was ordered to serve a period of detention of 20 months at the Territorial  Correctional Facility (TCF).

The defendant’s conviction stems from an incident where a man who sold vegetables at the Fagatogo Market contacted the Police Central Office in Fagatogo regarding a male individual who was selling marijuana joints to several people at the bus stop.

Police responded to the call and noticed a crowd of people gathered at the back side of the market where the defendant was standing. During a body search, police discovered 12 hand rolled marijuana joints inside the left pocket of the defendant’s pants, wrapped inside a red T-shirt.