The Office of the Attorney General decided yesterday to voluntarily withdraw the criminal charges against businessman Ho Jin Yoon, who is accused of sexually abusing a 6-year-old girl.
Chief prosecutor Shelli Neal told Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho that they find it necessary to conduct additional investigation.
Neal filed a motion for nolle prosequi (“do not prosecute”). Attorney Richard W. Pierce, counsel for Yoon, did not object.
Camacho granted the motion and vacated the jury trial presently set for Monday, Sept. 9. Camacho ordered that Yoon’s $50,000 cash bail be exonerated.
Nolle prosequi, according to law books, refers to a motion by a prosecutor or other plaintiff to drop legal charges, usually in exchange for a diversion program or out-of-court settlement. Such a motion is usually filed when the charges cannot be proved, the evidence has demonstrated either innocence or a fatal flaw in the prosecution’s claim, or the prosecutor no longer believes that the accused is guilty.
It is not, however, a guarantee that the person won’t be recharged.
In the government’s motion, Neal disclosed that in the government’s meeting with the child, they received information that was not provided in previous interviews conducted by the Department of Public Safety and Division of Youth Services, which requires further investigation.
“Proceeding with this case without further development and investigation by DPS and trained forensic interviewers does not serve the interest of justice as material facts are missing [that] may change or alter the outcome of the government’s charging document,” Neal said.
Police arrested Yoon in March 2013. He owns four retail stores on Saipan and one retail store in Guam. He denied the charges and later posted a $50,000 cash bail.