Man, 65, allegedly sexually assaults neighbor

Defendant denies charges, saying he was only returning cup
By Ferdie de la Torre

Police arrested a 65-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted his neighbor in Afetnas on Saturday morning.

Emilio Dela Pena was taken to the Superior Court yesterday morning on charges of sexual assault in the second degree and assault and battery.

A $26,000 cash bail was initially imposed for Dela Pena’s temporary release.

Police detective J.B. Cepeda stated in his report that a police officer was dispatched at 8:44am to Afetnas where an attempted rape allegedly occurred.

Cepeda said that when the officer arrived at the scene, the victim was hysterical and told him that her neighbor, Dela Pena, tried to rape her.

The victim claimed that Dela Pena had gone to her house at 8:30am and asked for coffee. At the time, the victim said she was boiling water for her herbal medicine.

The victim said that when she got up to check the fire, Dela Pena followed her and grabbed her breasts. Dela Pena also allegedly tried to remove her shirt and attempted to kiss her, but she struggled.

When she shouted, “Call the police!” the suspect ran to his house then left on a car.

At 3pm that same day, the victim called the police again after seeing Dela Pena return home. Responding police officers arrested the suspect.

Cepeda said that in his interview with Dela Pena on Sunday at the Department of Corrections, the suspect stated that the complainant called him to come to a picnic table outside her house to drink coffee.

Dela Pena claimed that as his neighbor was bending over to check the firewood, he came behind her and touched her shoulder with his left hand and tried to give her his cup with his right hand.

Dela Pena said the complainant then swung her left arm, pushed him away, and threatened to call the police.

Dela Pena said he tried to explain that he had no intention of touching her breasts or doing something to her. He said he left the house to do his laundry.

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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