Man accused of sexually abusing minor pleads not guilty


A man accused of inappropriately touching a minor has pleaded not guilty to the sexual abuse charge filed against him.

Venitus Ruwaath, 41, pleaded not guilty last week to one count of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree during his arraignment before Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja.

Naraja scheduled Ruwaath’s status conference for July 28, at 10am before Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan.

Ruwaath was represented by assistant public defender Vina Seelam while Office of the Attorney General Chief Prosecutor Chester Hinds appeared for the government.

According to court documents, the court found probable cause to charge Ruwaath with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree based on the testimony of a Department of Public Safety detective.
The complaint filed against Ruwaath stated that police received a walk-in complaint of a sexual abuse of a minor case on March 27, made by the victim’s father.

During a forensic interview with the minor, the victim told authorities that the incident happened sometime in June 2020. The minor said she was in bed watching YouTube videos when the defendant came in and asked what she was doing before he started touching her inappropriately.

At a bail hearing last June 3, the court imposed a $20,000 cash bail on Ruwaath and remanded him to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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