A man who is facing charges of stalking and disturbing the peace is suing the CNMI government, the Department of Public Safety, and two newspaper publications for alleged defamation, slander, and violation of his constitutional rights.
Brandon M. Rangamar, 48, has filed a lawsuit with the U.S District Court for the NMI against the CNMI government, DPS, Saipan Tribune, and Marianas Variety following the publication of his mugshot and details of his ongoing case.
Rangamar was arrested back in April for allegedly looking through a bathroom window while a woman was showering.
According to the lawsuit he filed representing himself, Rangamar claims that the publication of the case against him caused him and his family stress, embarrassment, and loss of possible employment.
He takes issue with CNMI government for allowing the publication of damaging information of crimes still pending court proceedings. “The CNMI government permits a law that any worldwide or local entity to broadly publish damaging detailed information of crimes still pending court proceedings,” he said.
As for DPS, he is suing DPS for publicly embarrassing him by releasing his photo and details about his case. “The CNMI police department publicly embarrassed me by posting my photo and damaging, detailed information of my alleged crime on Facebook on April 7, 2021,” he said.
Rangamar is suing Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety for defamation and slander, accusing both newspapers of published headlines “with careless defamation and slander.”
For relief, Rangamar wants the court to order a correction of the law that permits the release of case information, order the defendants to issue public apologies, and for the defendants to pay for all court fees and punitive damages.
“This has caused me and my immediate family members a lot of stress, embarrassment, loss of possible employment, and loss of motivation to function as a regular citizen. I now live daily in fear of the CNMI government, CNMI police, and CNMI citizens for possible unlawful retaliation. I ask this court to order responsible defendants to publicly apologize to my name and pay all entitled punitive or exemplary money damages. I humbly ask this court to intervene and make a quick resolution that I may resume living a normal life, not living in embarrassment and fear,” he said.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, DPS received a 911 call on Feb. 21, 2021, at about 7:37pm reporting a stalking incident in the Chalan Lau Lau area. The caller told police that Rangamar had been looking through the bathroom window while she was taking a shower. Rangamar was arrested and brought to the Department of Corrections.
During a follow-up investigation by police, the victim stated that this was not the first incident with the same suspect. Sometime in November 2020, the victim woke up to Rangamar sitting by her bed. She immediately told him to leave and, after several attempts on her part to make him leave, he finally left. Another incident occurred about a month later, the victim said, when she was cooking lunch in her home. The suspect allegedly came in and hugged the victim from behind in a tight manner. The victim asked Rangamar to leave before she calls for police assistance.
On April 7, 2021, a complaint and affidavit of probable cause for the issuance of an arrest warrant for Rangamar for the charges of disturbing the peace and stalking was prepared and signed by CNMI Superior Court Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio with a cash bail set at $7,500.