5 Jan 2009

Concerns in American Samoa about increase in sex offences involving underage teenagers

6:29 am on 5 January 2009

The American Samoa Assistant Attorney General, Lisa Teesch McGuire, says she is concerned about an increasing number of sex offences against minors

Ms Teesch McGuire, who handles most of the territory's rape, sexual abuse and incest cases, says the numbers indicate that children are not safe anymore in what should be a safe haven.

"We're seeing an increasing number of of 30 year old males having sex with young, 15 and 16 year old girls. And for those crimes those men are going to look at sentences of upwards of ten years. We want to make sure that children are allowed to be children. The Honorable Judge Ward said child sex assault is not simply a crime of sexual abuse, its a crime of theft. Because it's the theft of childhood."

Lisa Teesch McGuire says she urges parents not to remain silent about the issue.