Ex-DPS chief, ex-cop’s joint request to exonerate bail denied

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has denied the joint request by former Department of Public Safety commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero and former police officer Jesse S. Concepcion to exonerate conditions of release and bail imposed on them.

In a two-paragraph order issued on Tuesday, Camacho noted that there is still a pending petition for writ filed by the Office of the Attorney General before the CNMI Supreme on June 14, 2016.

Attorneys Matthew J. Holley and Richard W. Pierce, counsel for Deleon Guerrero and Concepcion, respectively, said there are no pending charges remain in this criminal proceeding, and that the bond and conditions of release serve no purpose.

Deleon Guerrero, 44, and Concepcion, 45, are both under house arrest after posting $25,000 and $10,000 cash bail plus property, respectively.

In defendants’ joint motion, Holley and Pierce said they are aware of the mandamus petition filed by the government last June 14 with respect to two counts of the information.

Holley and Pierce said should the Supreme Court mandate the Superior Court to find probable cause with respect to those counts or mandate the case for further proceedings, the defendants will voluntarily appear in Superior Court as directed through the court’s or the government’s communication with their respective counsels.

The lawyers said the defendants are not aware of any infraction related to the conditions of release imposed by the court.

Last June 30, Camacho issued separate orders, dismissing without prejudice the remaining charges against Deleon Guerrero and Concepcion.

Dismissal without prejudice means the Office of the Attorney General may re-file the charges.

In his order, Camacho said he finds no probable cause as to the charge of conspiracy to commit sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree as the government has produced no evidence that Deleon Guerrero and Concepcion conspired to specifically have sexual contact with a minor.

In his separate order, Camacho said he finds no probable cause as to two counts of misconduct in public office each charged against the defendants as the government has presented no evidence that the alleged offense occurred under color of office.

Last May 27, Camacho also dismissed without prejudice the charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree filed each against the defendants. The judge said he finds no probable cause as to the charge as the government failed to prove essential element of the offense.

Camacho conducted the preliminary hearing last April 22 and May 9.

According to the information filed by assistant attorney general Shannon R. Foley, in June 2013 on Saipan, Deleon Guerrero, then the commissioner of DPS, twice engaged in sexual penetration with a minor child at the San Antonio beach site.

Foley said that in June 2013, Deleon Guerrero and Concepcion arranged a meeting place, meeting times, and coordinated with other persons to lure the minor child to a San Antonio beach site, where they engaged in sexual penetration of that child.

Foley said that in June 2013, Concepcion, then a DPS officer, engaged in sexual penetration with a minor child at the San Antonio beach site on numerous occasions.

The prosecutor said Deleon Guerrero and Concepcion, being public officials, performed illegal acts under the color of their office.

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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