7 Apr 2010

American Samoa governor calls for tougher penalties for child sex crime

12:29 pm on 7 April 2010

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, wants to increase penalties for those convicted of child sexual abuse.

Speaking in his weekly radio programme, the governor said that sexual abuse of a child was nothing less than killing the child and that such offences robbed the young of all dignity.

He said the administration plans to submit to the Fono a bill that would provide for a life sentence without possibility of parole.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says this isn't the first time the governor has raised the issue:

"The rate of sexual crime victimising children is on the increase and I do believe he is going to follow this through. Certainly in the court stories that we've covered, not a week goes by without a case."

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller