Ex-cop gets 4 years for burglaries


A former police officer who burglarized two restaurants in western Garapan in 2016 was slapped with a four-year prison term yesterday.

Thirty-six-year-old Gordon Odoshi Seman was sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison, all suspended except for four years. He was given credit for time served.

After serving his sentence, he will be placed on probation for five years. He was ordered to pay $2,083 in restitution to Kyung Ran Seo and $4,462 in restitution to Seiji and Yoshiko Sato.
During his probation, Seman is prohibited from having any contact with the victims, their homes, and restaurants.

He is to write a letter of apology to the victims, pay a $100 fine, complete 80 hours of community service, and attend antidrug counseling.

Seman apologized to the victims, his family, and community, saying he is deeply ashamed of his actions.

Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa K. Kim-Tenorio heard the case.

Seman pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary last May 9.

Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas earlier recommended a sentence of six years imprisonment and five years of probation.

She said Seman’s actions show a complete disregard for the laws of the CNMI wherein he broke into not one business but two.

Seman burglarized Coco’s Restaurant on Dec. 7, 2016, and stole $2,083 worth of liquor, food, cash, and a camera with accessories. Less than a week later, on Dec. 11, 2016, Seman burglarized Avenue Restaurant and stole $4,462 worth of liquor, a computer, clothing, jewelry, and a couple of brand-name purses.

Barcinas noted that Seman is no stranger to the criminal justice system as he has a prior criminal conviction in 2011, where he pleaded guilty to assault and battery.

Seman, who was at that time a rookie police officer, beat up his wife. Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo sentenced him in that case to 12 days in prison, with credit for 12 days of time served.

In the 2011 case, Seman was placed on probation for two years, but the pre-sentence investigation report revealed he did not comply with all the terms and conditions of his probation.

Barcinas said this indicates that Seman is a poor candidate for probation and/or rehabilitation.

“A strong sentence will promote deterrence and lessen the fears of many citizens who hope for change, and who demand for stiffer sentences, and most especially with repeat offenders,” Barcinas said.

Assistant public defender Heather M. Zona, counsel for Seman, recommended a sentence of one year, two months and six days in prison, with credit for one year, two months, and six days of time served.

Zona said Seman is not a career criminal and has only made some poor choices.

Zona said the defendant feels great remorse for his wrongdoing, is embarrassed by his actions, and fears what a prison sentence could mean for his family.

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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