Ex-firefighter Koshiba surrenders


Jergerson Techur Koshiba, a former firefighter facing sexual abuse of a minor charge, voluntarily surrendered to the Department of Public Safety in Susupe Thursday night and was then arrested.

At a hearing on Friday, his bail was kept at $100,000 cash; preliminary hearing is on Oct. 17 at 9am.

Assistant public defender Michael Sato was appointed as counsel for the 43-year-old Koshiba. Assistant attorney general Betsy Weintraub appeared for the government.

Last Wednesday, the CNMI Crime Stoppers Program sought the public’s help for information on Koshiba’s whereabouts after he could not be found and served with an arrest warrant.

Koshiba was released from the Department of Corrections last Monday, Oct. 3.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho signed the arrest warrant on Oct. 3 when the Office of the Attorney General filed a new information charging Koshiba with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

DOC released Koshiba that day, Oct. 3, shortly after Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo ordered his immediate release from custody.

Govendo ordered the immediate release of Koshiba because the offense of disturbing the peace carries a maximum sentence of six months and the defendant has been incarcerated at DOC since Feb. 27, 2016.

Govendo decided the misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace during the trial.

Last Sept. 30, Govendo adjudged Koshiba guilty of disturbing the peace and sentenced him to six months imprisonment, with credit for 218 days time served.

The judge declared a mistrial on the jury count of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. He dismissed the charge after finding that the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

Defense attorney Joaquin DLG Torres, then-counsel for Koshiba, argued that his client should be immediately released after the mistrial because the court has no more jurisdiction in this case.

The government accused Koshiba of touching the private part of a 9-year-old girl at a residence on Navy Hill last Feb. 26. The trial commenced last Sept. 26 and concluded on Friday.

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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