Man charged with attempted rape
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 29-year-old male made his initial appearance in court two weeks ago on the allegation that he attempted to rape a 17-year-old girl at the victim’s home in Pavaiai.
He is charged with one count of sodomy; one count of attempted rape; one count of sexual abuse in the first degree; all class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or such imprisonment terms and fine, along with one count of 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
Bail is set at $25,000.
During the initial appearance the defense attorney informed the court that his client wished to waive his right to a preliminary hearing and his case was bound over to High Court.
The defendant appeared in High Court last week where he entered a not guilty plea to the charges.
Pretrial conference is Sept 24th.
The government claims that on June 11th around 4:38p.m, a woman from Pavaiai contacted the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) and reported that her niece had been sexually abused by a young male who came to their home. Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the woman, later identified as the victim’s aunt, along with the victim in this case.
According to the victim’s statement to investigators, she was at her aunt’s place doing her homework when a male (the defendant in this case) came over looking for her brother, who is a mechanic. She told him that he wasn’t there and didn’t know what time he would return home.
After a brief conversation he asked for the brother’s cell phone. He also asked if he could come inside the house, but she refused. She told the defendant that her aunt was at the back and he was not allowed to come inside the house.
However, he allegedly opened the front door and entered the house without permission.
According to the victim’s statement to police, she was sitting on a chair in the living room when the defendant approached her and attempted to sexually abuse her while she continued to try and push him away.
At one point, according to the government, the defendant wrapped both his arms around the victim’s neck and choked her from the back, when she would not do want he wanted. Allegedly, every single time the victim tried to scream out for help, he grasped her by the neck and choked her just to shut her up.
The defendant’s home was about 15-feet away from the victim’s house, but when police approached his house, he was not there. However, when police followed up with their investigation a few hours later, the defendant was at his house. He was apprehended and transported to the TPS for investigation.
When questioned regarding the alleged incident, he admitted to police what happened and begged for forgiveness.
He claimed it was not forced, and denied choking the victim. He also told police that the victim asked him to come inside the house.