Mon 17 August 2020, Mulinuu, Apia Samoa. Over 10 cases relating to various matters of sexual assault towards young girls were heard before Chief Justice Satiu Simativa Perese during weekly criminal mentions of the Supreme Court this morning.
Two male teachers face charges of rape and indecent acts towards a 17 year old high school student. The one charged with rape has been granted legal aid and given 2 weeks to secure a defense attorney, while the second will be mentioned in the District Court.
Another man appeared for rape and sexual connection with a child under 12 years. He was also granted legal aid and given 2 weeks by the Court to engage a lawyer.
There were a further three men who appeared for separate incidents of sexual violation towards young girls.
Only one man entered a plea today. Peresi Paika pleaded not guilty to three charges relating to sexual acts towards a young girl. He will remain out on bail until his 2-day hearing now set for the 12th of April 2021.
In all cases, name suppression was granted by the Courts for the victims, however, not for the defendant.
In most cases, defense counsels had not been served with the charging documents, and those defendants will reappear in the Supreme Court in a fortnight.