Man, 45, gets 12 years in prison for sexually abusing 8-year-old girl


A 45-year-old man entered a guilty plea on Tuesday to the allegation that he sexually abused an 8-year-old girl last year, and was slapped with a 12-year prison term.

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo accepted Gilbert Sablan Pinaula’s guilty plea to the offense of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

Pinaula was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment, with three years suspended. He was ordered to serve 12 years without the possibility of parole, furlough or work release

The defendant was given credit for time served of 451 days. After serving the jail term, he will be placed on 10 years of probation.

Pinaula was required to register and comply with the CNMI Sex Offender Registry, prohibited from having unsupervised contact with minors, and ordered to complete any suggested course of treatment deemed necessary by the Community Guidance Center or Office of Adult Probation during the probationary period.

Pinaula will also be prohibited from possessing or consuming any alcoholic beverages or controlled substances during the entire period of probation.

The defendant was ordered to pay restitution, court costs, and probation fees.

The Office of the Attorney General charged Pinaula with sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and disturbing the peace. He and counsel, chief public defender Douglas Hartig, signed a plea deal with assistant attorney general Teri C. Tenorio.

In exchange for pleading guilty to the crime of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree as a lesser included offense, the prosecution agreed to move for the dismissal of the remaining charge. The judge granted the government’s request.

According to the factual basis of the plea deal, Pinaula engaged in sexual contact with the girl on June 28, 2016 on Saipan.

Police said during an interview the following day, June 29, according to the mother, she noticed that her daughter was feeling sick and she knew something was wrong so she begged her to tell her what happened.

The girl cried and confessed that Pinaula sexually assaulted her twice in separate incidents.

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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