17 Jun 2009

Dropped American Samoa rape case prompts judicial query

2:45 pm on 17 June 2009

American Samoa's Chief Justice, Michael Kruse, has ordered the government to provide within two weeks a complete written report as to why rape charges against a man have been dismissed.

Judge Kruse issued the verbal order in the case of Petaia Ualesi, who is accused of raping a former girl friend early this year.

Last week, the government filed a motion to dismiss the charges, saying it had received a letter from the alleged victim.

She claimed she had made up the allegations, and therefore the case lacks evidence for a successful prosecution.

The Assistant Attorney General Lisa Teesch-Maguire told the court the Government believes the witness was under family pressure to drop the charges.