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Monday, April 21, 2014

30-year sentence for man who sexually abused child

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho handed down yesterday the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison against Donald Ayuyu Hocog, a 45-year-old man who sexually abused a 14-year-old girl starting when she was just 6.

Camacho said that Hocog shall serve the 30-year sentence without the possibility of parole.

Hocog’s request to spend Christmas with his children was denied, with Camacho saying the defendant is now a convicted sex offender.

Camacho noted that Hocog is a repeat offender as he has had several contacts with the justice system.

The judge said that one of the charges in which the defendant is convicted of is sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, a serious and heinous crime.

Camacho said the victim in this case is a young child.

The CNMI Legislature, he said, has repeatedly expressed its intent to impose a harsh penalty on sexual abusers of children.

Camacho said he disagrees with Hocog’s counsel, assistant public defender Matthew Meyer, that the court does not consider other factors in imposing maximum sentences.

Meyer recommended a 10-year prison term. He argued, among other things, that if everybody gets maximum prison terms, there can be no exceptional case.

Assistant attorney general Barbara Cepeda recommended a sentence of 36 years in prison. She said the crimes committed are very egregious.

“The victim is a child. She lost her childhood,” Cepeda said.

A jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict against Hocog on one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.

Camacho, who decided on the misdemeanor charges, also found Hocog guilty of one count of assault and battery and another count.

Camacho said he heard the testimony of the girl and found her credible.

Police said that on March 13, 2013, a Division of Youth Services representative interviewed the then-13-year-old girl who confessed that Hocog began sexually abusing her when she was 6. She claimed that she was sexually abused five times and that the last incident happened in 2011.

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