Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho rejected yesterday for the second time the request to modify the $100,000 cash bail imposed on former Tinian detective Melvin Ilo Monkeya, who is facing charges that he sexually abused a then 14-year-old girl inside a police station in 2008.
In rejecting the motion to modify the bail, Camacho noted the seriousness of the charges in that the sexual abuse allegedly happened inside a police station.
The judge did not touch the issue whether Monkey’s mother is suitable to serve as the defendant’s third-party custodian.
Assistant public defender Benjamin K. Petersburg, counsel for the 42-year-old Monkeya, asked the court to modify the current bail of $100,000 cash by allowing the defendant to post a property bond.
Assistant attorney general James McAllister opposed, saying the defendant poses a serious threat to the safety of the community and that the evidence against him is substantial.
McAllister said that Monkeya admittedly engaged in non-consensual sex with a minor girl at the Tinian police station in November 2008.
McAllister said the defendant is also accused of soliciting and attempting to coerce the victim into having sex with him again in 2011.
In 2013, Monkeya allegedly confessed the crime to several family members, boasting that he is untouchable as he is a police officer.
After the hearing on the motion, Petersburg withdrew as counsel for the defendant due to conflict of interests.
Petersburg disclosed that the Office of the Attorney General has named Monkeya as a government witness against another client of the Public Defender’s Office.
Camacho granted Petersburg’s motion and appointed attorney S. Joshua Berger as Monkeya’s new counsel.