Samoa church minister in police custody

A Methodist church minister in Samoa is in police custody after he confessed to church leaders that he had raped a 16-year-old girl.

The church's general secretary, the Reverend Eteuati Tuioti, said an internal investigation ended with the minister confessing to the rape.

The minister was immediately dismissed, he said.

"The Ministerial meeting endorsed the decision to dismiss the church minster of his role permanently," the general secretary said.

Police told the Samoa Observer that the man was in custody and would soon appear in court.