Court orders detective not to consult with prosecutor

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho instructed Department of Public Safety detective Buddy Igitol not to discuss the case with the government prosecutor after an objection from defense counsel stated that the information given by the lead detective under oath was not in the original warrant of arrest accusing two individuals of raping a 52-year-old woman.

Ruling from the bench, Camacho said the detective can provide investigation information to the prosecutor but cannot discuss orally the case as he has not completed his testimony and cross examination in court.

46-year-old Jaime Always, and 28-year-old Youwan Weiner Sony, charged with sexual assault in the first degree, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Monday.

Chief public defender Douglas Hartig appeared as Always defense counsel, private attorney Phillip Tydinco appeared as court appointed counsel for Sony. Mercedes Usenuku was also present as an interpreter.

Detective Igitol testified in court that the victim in the case drank a case of beer with the defendants.

He said the victim alleges that the two defendants had sex with her without her consent.

The detective also testified that the victim denied asking money from the two defendants after sex. They say they told her they had no money.

The detective’s testimony prompted the two defense counsels to object and request the court to order the government prosecutor to provide information to the defense that was not in the arrest warrant.

Assistant attorney general Teri Tenorio appeared for the government.

In response to the court’s ruling, Tenorio stated that essentially the request will stop the investigation and impair the government’s ability to go forward with the trial.

Tenorio added that the request of the defense for an order of no communication between the detective and prosecutor regarding the investigation of the case will affect all cases under investigation.

“The next thing you know no detectives will be talking to prosecutors,” added Tenorio.

The two defense lawyers want the prosecutor to share the information not available in the probable cause or arrest warrant.

Camacho, in his minute order, noted the defense counsels’ request for the statements of another officer mentioned in the testimony.

Camacho scheduled a motion hearing on March 7, 2018 at 9 am and ordered the defendants’ motion shall be filed individually or jointly on or before February 20, 2018.

The government’s opposition if any shall be filed on or before Feb. 27 , and defendant’s reply on or before March 5.

The defendants waived the right to have a preliminary hearing within ten days of their initial appearance. The court vacated the arraignment set for Feb. 26, at 9 am.

On Feb. 4, at 3:15 pm police responded to a reported sexual assault.

The victim told police that two men she knew had sexual intercourse with her without her consent. She positively identified the two defendants said the police, who were both found sleeping in the resident where the incident occurred.

The 52-year-old victim told police that after the incident she made an excuse to leave the premises and used the phone at a nearby local restaurant. An employee of the restaurant told police that she looked scared and was shaking.

Both suspects admitted having sex with the woman but told police it had been consensual.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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