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Mother charged for allegedly abusing her two daughters over two days

American Samoa District Court building
Mother-in-law reports the matter

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 37-year-old mother of two is now behind bars after being arrested for abusing her two children.

The mother made her initial appearance in court last month.

She is charged with two counts of abusing of a child involving domestic violence, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 but not less than $150, or both.

Bail is set at $10,000.


On May 29th, 2020 at about 6:10p.m, a 65-year-old woman walked into the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) to report a matter regarding her two granddaughters who were allegedly abused by their mother, later identified as the defendant in this matter.

The defendant is the daughter-in-law of the woman who reported the alleged incident. The two victims in this case are 9 and 11 years old.

According to the mother-in-law’s statement to police, the defendant, her husband and their children reside in Tafuna while she lives in Vailoa. On the morning of May 29th, she went to the defendant’s house to drop off food and clothes for them and to pick up her two granddaughters to spend the night with her.

She knocked on the door but no one answered. She called her daughter-in-law’s cell phone but it was turned off. She then went back home thinking that she would return later in the afternoon to drop off the shopping for the children.

Around 5:10p.m, she went back to her daughter-in-law’s (defendant) house; however, again nobody answered when she knocked on the door. She also tried to call her daughter-in-law’s cell phone again but the phone was still turned off.  She then returned home sad, she said.

On her way to the main road, she was flagged down by a woman. The woman identified herself as a close friend of the defendant.

The woman then told the mother-in-law that two days ago, the defendant allegedly beat her two daughters badly. One of the defendant’s daughters ran to their house for help and she kept her at their house for the night before she returned home on the next morning.

The woman further stated that the defendant and the children are still at the house but she thinks the defendant is afraid that the mother-in-law might see bruises on both girls’ bodies.

The woman then returned to her daughter-in-law’s house and knocked on the door and called out to her daughter-in-law’s name to open the door before she calls the police for what she did to her granddaughters. It was at that time when the daughter-in-law opened the door and allowed her mother-in-law to come in.

After the defendant refused to let her two daughters (victims) come to meet with their grandmother, she decided to report the matter to the police.

After interviewing the mother-in-law, several police officers proceeded to the defendant’s home to speak with the defendant. It was then when police officers along with the girl’s grandmother discovered bruises all over the two victims’ bodies.

When asked by police what happened, the two victims stated that their mother (defendant) used the broom handle to beat them after she got mad at them for not listening to her. According to the two victims, the beatings had gone on for two days.

The defendant was placed inside a police unit and transported to the TPS for further investigation. She was informed of her Constitutional rights which she said she understood and refused to make any statement pertaining to the reported matter.

She was later booked and confined at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await her appearance in court the next day.