$5K cash bail for former lawmaker Juan I. Tenorio

»Police said Tenorio also tried to attack female passenger of car, local witness
Former lawmaker Juan I. Tenorio, center, walks with other defendants toward a courtroom in the Superior Court for bail hearing yesterday morning. Tenorio was arrested on Saturday for allegedly punching a 19-year-old male driver of a car. (Ferdie Dela Torre)

Former lawmaker Juan I. Tenorio, center, walks with other defendants toward a courtroom in the Superior Court for bail hearing yesterday morning. Tenorio was arrested on Saturday for allegedly punching a 19-year-old male driver of a car. (Ferdie Dela Torre)

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday kept the $5,000 cash bail imposed on former lawmaker Juan Iguel Tenorio, who was arrested on Saturday for allegedly assaulting a male teenage driver in Marpi.

According to court documents, the 65-year-old Tenorio also allegedly tried to attack the driver’s female companion and attempted to punch a local witness who tried to stop him.

Camacho prohibited Tenorio from having direct or indirect contact with the alleged victim, potential witnesses, and Marianas Trekking.

Preliminary hearing will be on April 13 at 9am. Arraignment will be on April 20 at 9am.

Tenorio was arrested for assault and battery, and disturbing the peace, which carry a total maximum sentence of one year and six months in prison.

Tenorio said he can’t afford to hire a lawyer and that he is still paying a $25,000 loan for attorney’s fee to lawyer Robert T. Torres, who represented him in his previous criminal case.

The defendant is the human resources manager for Grandvrio Resort, the former Hafadai Beach Hotel.

The previous case Tenorio was referring to stems from allegations that he sexually abused an 11-year-old girl in May 2010. In September 2013, he was acquitted of the charges.

Camacho allowed assistant public defender Michael Sato to serve as counsel for Tenorio at yesterday’s initial court appearance hearing.

Camacho required the defendant to be assessed by the Office of the Adult Probation if he is qualified to be represented by the Office of the Public Defender.

Assistant attorney general Shannon Folley appeared for the government at the hearing.

Police detective Jesus K. Wabol stated in his report that after the Department of Public Safety received a call on Thursday at 2:18pm about an assault and battery incident in the parking lot of Marianas Trekking, a police officer responded to the scene.

Wabol said the responding officer learned that the 19-year-old male and his two female friends were followed by Tenorio from the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque to the parking lot of Marianas Trekking, where the assault happened.

The officer observed the victim suffering a one-inch laceration in his nose. One female passenger of the car was crying for fear because Tenorio approached them.

The officer also observed bloodstains on the ground next to the vehicle. An ambulance was then summoned.

The teenager told police he was driving his car with two passengers heading to the Grotto when a white vehicle, which was heading in the same direction, passed them and cut in front of his vehicle at a close distance.

The female passenger got upset and flicked off Tenorio, who was the driver of the white car. Tenorio then followed them to the Marianas Trekking parking lot, where he got down.

Tenorio allegedly tried to attack one of the two female passengers, but the teenage driver tried to stop him.

Tenorio then allegedly punched the male teenager on the face and tried to attack the female again. As the teenager tried to stop Tenorio again, the former lawmaker punched him on the nose, causing it to bleed.

The staff of the Marianas Trekking arrived and pulled Tenorio away from the teenage driver. One local staff, who is related to Tenorio, told the defendant to leave the area. Tenorio got in his car and left.

A witness said Tenorio was very aggressive so he tried to hold him and the victim apart.

A local witness said he saw Tenorio pushing the teenage driver against a car and cussing at him.

The witness heard the former lawmaker as saying, “F__k you you don’t know who you’re f____ng with. You don’t know the f__k I am!”

The local witness said the teenager apologized to Tenorio, but the latter punched him twice.

Tenorio started yelling and showed his middle finger at the female passenger of the car.

Tenorio tried to open the passenger door, but the local witness stopped him and told him not to do anything crazy.

The local witness noticed Tenorio had his keys in his hand and had a key sticking out in between his fingers just below his knuckles.

The local witness warned Tenorio if he touches the female, he will fight him. Tenorio got angry again and allegedly tried to punch the teenager with his fist that had the key sticking out.

The local witness held Tenorio down to the ground. Tenorio allegedly tried to punch him with his fist that still clenched the keys, but the witness was able to hold him down.

The local witness asked the staff of Marianas Trekking to call the police.

Tenorio allegedly left the area after hearing the word “police.”

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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