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Malaeimi stabbing suspect also wanted in 2-year-old rape case

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Turns out, a man accused of stabbing his uncle with a knife has an active arrest warrant for a sex case from two years ago. Viane Tagaiilima, who is in custody on a ‘no bail’ status, made his initial appearance in court last week.

He is charged in two separate cases. In the first case, Tagiilima is charged with second degree assault and first degree property damage — both class D felonies — and third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.

For the second case, he is charged with one count of sodomy; one count of deviate sexual assault; one count of rape; and two counts of first degree sexual abuse — all felonies.


A woman called police last week to report that her husband had been stabbed multiple times in the back and ribs. The alleged incident occurred in Malaeimi. While police were speaking to the woman at the scene, a male walked over and said it was he who did it. The male was later identified as Viane Tagiilima.

(A senior cop recognized Tagiilima as a suspect from a sex case she investigated two years prior, and there was an active arrest warrant in his name).

Cops found the alleged stabbing victim, lying in his house with injuries to his body — bleeding from his left side, and his back. EMS provided assistance but the victim was later transported to the LBJ for further treatment.

A witness told police that they were playing rugby with both the victim and Tagiilima and after the game, they all walked home, as usual. En route, the witness said he heard the victim say something about Tagiilima, which got everyone laughing and making fun of him. Tagiilima continued to hear his friends, including his uncle (the victim) mocking him, saying he was the one who went to the reverend’s house late at night on New Year’s Eve.

According to the witness, Tagiilima became furious.

When questioned by investigators, Tagiilima said he felt he had no choice because he heard his friends, including the victim, mocking him and speaking profanely. He said that while sitting in his room at home, he heard footsteps. He then proceeded to the living room with a knife in hand, and saw the victim coming to his house.

As the victim got closer, Tagiilima turned around and stabbed him on his left side twice with the knife. The victim took two steps backwards while Tagiilima continued walking towards him, stabbing him on the left side once more.

The victim turned and ran out of the house, and that’s when Tagiilima allegedly stabbed him in the back multiple times. Tagiilima told police that he was so angry, the only thing on his mind at the time, was to stab the victim to death.

During his interview with police, Tagiilima allegedly recalled that he was interviewed by police 2 years ago for a sex case involving a 16-year-old girl who lived with her family not far from his house.


A woman contacted police on Apr. 20, 2017 to report that her niece was allegedly raped by Tagiilima. The aunty, who is a cannery worker, told police that Tagiilima raped her niece in their home while she was at work that night.

According to the girl, the first incident occurred on the night of Apr. 7th after a drinking session between her uncle (her aunty’s husband) and Tagiilima in a small shack in the back of their house. While asleep in the living room with her three young siblings, the girl said she felt someone touch her private parts. She said she felt pain and she awoke to find Tagiilima on top of her, raping her.

The victim said she tried hard to push Tagiilima away but he was too strong, holding both her hands down with one hand, while using his other hand to cover her mouth. After Tagiilima allegedly raped the girl, he gave her $100 and told her not to tell anybody — saying he would kill her if she told anyone. Out of fear, the victim didn’t tell her aunty anything.

A week later, Tagiilima was at the victim’s home for yet another drinking session with the victim’s uncle, while her aunty was at work.

At around 1a.m., the victim’s uncle fell asleep in the shack while Tagiilima forced his way into the house where the victim was sleeping. The victim said she woke up when she felt someone touching her breast underneath her clothes and saw Tagiilima sitting on her left side. Tagiilima asked the victim if they could have sex and the victim said no. That’s when the victim woke her young siblings who were sleeping with her. Tagiilima stood up and walked out.

The next morning, the victim told her aunty what happened, and the aunty notified authorities.