Three defendants charged in rape case make court appearances
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The pretrial conference for Nick Mataia — which was on the High Court calendar yesterday — has been continued to January 31, as his attorney, Public Defender Michael White, is off island.
Mataia is being charged in two separate cases.
For the first one, he and his two co-defendants Apisaloma Timu and Loma Iosia are charged with rape, first degree sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, for alleged sexual relations with a pair of 14-year-old girls.
The second case against Mataia charges him with unlawful possession of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute — both felonies.
A week after his arrest, Mataia was allegedly beaten by inmates at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). As a result, three inmates have been charged and a trio of TCF guards suspended.
The court was informed yesterday morning that all the discovery has been turned over to the defense and an offer is on the table.
Mataia is remanded back to custody until his next court appearance.
Co-defendant Apisaloma Timu was also in High Court yesterday for his pretrial conference, where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill, said they have received all the discovery in the case, including an offer from the government.
He also indicated that they intend to file a change of plea.
Co-defendant Loma Iosia was also in High Court yesterday, for two separate matters. He too was represented by McNeill, who informed the court that they intend to file a change of plea in both matters, but they will await the return of Public Defender Michael White who is off island.