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Young man bound over to High Court charged with attempted rape of 17-year-old

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 19-year-old male was arrested by police last week on the allegation that he attempted to rape a 17-year-old girl inside the victim’s home in Faleniu.

The government claims that on May 15th around 2:38p.m, a woman from Faleniu 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 who reported the incident, 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 by the name of Faifili Jr. Niue (the defendant in this case) came over looking for her aunt.

The victim told Niue that her aunt was cutting her flowers and told him (Niue) to wait outside the house, her aunt might come later. However, Niue allegedly opened the front door and entered the house without permission.

According to the victim, she was sitting on a chair inside the living room of the house when Niue approached her and attempted to hold her but she pushed him away. Niue did not stop, he continued to come closer to the victim and forcibly kissed her for three seconds but the victim was able to push him away again.

However, Niue continued his abuse by allegedly grabbing the victim, forcing her to kiss him, as well as attempting to have sexual intercourse with her. The victim continued very hard to push him away.

At one point, the victim told Niue that she couldn’t do what he wanted her to do. According to the government, it was at that time when Niue wrapped both his arms around the victim’s neck and choked her from the back.

Niue then laid the victim on the floor and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her while she was still refusing. Every single time the victim tried to scream out for help, Niue grasp her by the neck and choked her 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, Niue was at his house. He was apprehended and transported to the TPS for investigation.

When questioned regarding the alleged incident, Niue admitted to police about what happened and begged for forgiveness. He corroborated the victim’s statement, however, he claims it was not forced. He also denied choking the victim. He told police that the victim asked him to come inside the house.

Niue made his initial appearance in court last week.

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 his initial appearance Niue’s defense attorney informed the court that his client wished to waive his right to a preliminary hearing and let his case be bound over to High Court.

Niue appeared in High Court last week where he entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

Pretrial conference is July 12th.