Cop facing sexual abuse charges granted request for bail modification hearing on Rota


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho on Friday granted the request of Melvin Maratita Manglona, a Rota police officer facing charges for sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl, to hold a hearing on Rota to modify the $100,000 cash bail as his defendant’s proposed third party custodian is unable to travel to Saipan.

At a hearing on Saipan, Camacho ruled that the court requires proposed third party custodian to be present in court.

The judge set the bail modification hearing for Oct. 7, 2016 at 10:30am at the Rota Courthouse.

Camacho ordered the Department of Corrections to bring Manglona to Rota at the bail modification hearing.

Camacho said the conditions of the bail order dated Aug. 17, 2016, still remains.

Arraignment will be today, Monday, at 9am.

Manglona, through counsel assistant public defender Tillman Clark, requested that the court modify the $100,000 cash bail to allow his release upon posting of a property bond through an appearance bond and a mortgage.

Clark proposed Augustine SN. Maratita, 58, to serve as third-party custodian.

A 10,000 square meters of land was offered as the property bond.

Clark said unfortunately, Maratita is unable to afford airfare to travel to and from Saipan and would be unable to pick up Manglona from the Department of Corrections.

“As such, in the interests of ensuring that the citizens of Rota enjoy the equal rights and privileges as citizens of Saipan and Tinian, Manglona respectfully requests that the court schedule this hearing on Rota at the soonest date available,” said Clark in the motion for bail modification.

Under Commonwealth law, Clark said, all persons arrested from criminal offenses other than first degree murder “shall be entitled a matter of right to be released on bail” before trial.

At the Aug. 23 preliminary hearing, Camacho found probable cause to believe that the crimes of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and one count of disturbing the peace were committed and that the 48-year-old Manglona may have committed the offenses.

Camacho ordered Manglona to answer the charges.

The judge dismissed the charge of assault and battery because it is a lesser included offense of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.

It means that it is not necessary to charge assault and battery as it is already included in sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.

Assistant attorney general Shannon Foley stated in the information that Manglona sexually abused the girl in July and Aug. 11, 2016 on Rota.

Foley said the defendant touched the girl’s private part last Aug. 1, and caused her to have suicidal thoughts from July 2016 to Aug. 11, 2016.

A Rota police detective stated in her report that the girl revealed that Manglona has been sexually abusing her since she was 9 years old and that the recent sexual encounter happened just last Aug. 11.

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

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