31 Aug 2002

Calls in American Samoa for tougher penalties for sex offenders

9:18 am on 31 August 2002

American Samoa's attorney general has called for a law change allowing the naming of sex offenders.

Fiti Sunia made the call during a hearing in the assembly on a proposed change of the law to raise the minimum sentence for those abusing children under the age of 12 to 30 years.

A social worker says child molestation cases have increased, with some offenders performing sexual acts on newborns.

Lawmakers say making names of offenders public may reduce such crimes because it would shame them in a small community.