Cop, retired US Army Reserve plead not guilty


Rota Police Officer Melvin Maratita Manglona and retired U.S. Army Reserve Michael Barry Murphy both pleaded not guilty yesterday to separate charges that they sexually abused minor girls.

At an arraignment, Manglona, through counsel assistant public defender Cindy Nesbit, pleaded not guilty to the information charging him with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and one count of disturbing the peace.

Murphy, through counsel Janet H. King, pleaded not guilty to the information charging him with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.
Manglona, 48, and Murphy, 54, both waived reading of their constitutional rights.

Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja set a status conference for Manglona on Oct. 5 at 9am and for Murphy on Oct. 4 at 9am.

Acting chief prosecutor Barbara Cepeda appeared for the government.

Manglona and Murphy remain under detention for failing to post $100,000 and $50,000 cash bail, respectively.

The Office of the Attorney General alleged that Manglona sexually abused a 14-year-old girl last July and Aug. 11, 2016 on Rota.

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

The girl told police that Manglona has been sexually abusing her since she was 9 years old and that the recent sexual encounter happened just last Aug. 11.

In Murphy’s case, the OAG alleged that the defendant sexually abused a 4-year-old girl last Aug. 6 on Saipan.

The OAG is planning to file separate charges against Murphy for allegedly sexually abusing the girl’s 20-year-old mother, who disclosed that the defendant also sexually abused her when she was 9 to 12 years old between 2005 and 2008.

Another woman, 26, also told police that the defendant sexually abused her when she was 9 to 14 years old at a house in Capital Hill and in a jungle in Obyan.

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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