Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman denied yesterday the Office of the Attorney General’s motion to present evidence of three more acts of sexual misconduct allegedly committed by former representative Juan Iguel Tenorio, who is facing charges of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.
Wiseman found an alleged showering incident to be inadmissible as it does not constitute an offense of sexual assault under the CNMI Rules of Evidence.
On the two other alleged sexual misconduct, the judge ruled that based on the documents filed by the prosecution and defense counsel, it is unclear when these alleged incidents took place, what the allegations consist of, and whether they qualify as offenses of sexual assault or child molestation.
Wiseman said the only evidence is that some type of “victimization” of these individuals allegedly took place around the years 1998 and 1999.
The OAG filed the motion to introduce these extraneous offenses. The OAG also filed a motion to call a witness via videoconferencing in order to testify about these alleged uncharged conducts of Tenorio.
One uncharged conduct is that the sister-in-law of the mother of the alleged 13-year-old victim allegedly witnessed Tenorio peeking at the girl’s mother while she was showering when she was pregnant.
The other is that Tenorio’s relative alleges that he “victimized” her when she was 13 years old.
The third uncharged conduct is that Tenorio also reportedly sexually abused two other females.
Tenorio, through counsel Robert T. Torres, filed a motion to exclude testimonies related to these uncharged conduct.
In his order yesterday, Wiseman said that before a trial court may admit evidence of prior misconduct, it must conduct an NMI Rules of Evidence analysis, balancing the weight of the probative value of the evidence against the danger of unfair prejudice.
Wiseman said NMI Rules of Evidence 413 allows the admission of evidence of a defendant’s commission of another offense of sexual assault for any relevant purpose. NMI Rules of Evidence 414 similarly allows such evidence involving offenses of child molestation, he said.
With respect to the shower incident, Wiseman said the government’s motion to admit it as an offense of sexual assault is unsupported by law.
Wiseman cited a recent criminal case wherein the government attempted to admit evidence that the defendant peeked at a woman showering in the restroom of Saipan World Resort.
Wiseman said the incident resulted in a conviction for disturbing the peace, but did not constitute an offense of sexual assault and was therefore inadmissible under NMI Rules of Evidence 413.
As for the two alleged incidents involving Tenorio’s three relatives, Wiseman said there are not enough facts alleged for the court to even consider the admissibility of the allegations.
Police arrested the 64-year-old Tenorio in February 2013 on charges of sexual assault in the second degree, assault and battery, sexual assault of a minor in the second degree, and disturbing the peace. A police detective stated that the girl told her mother on Dec. 30, 2012, that Tenorio touched her privates between May 31, 2010, and December 2010.
Tenorio pleaded not guilty.
Tenorio also used to serve as Office of Personnel Management director. He is currently the human resource manager for Hafadai Beach Hotel.