McDonnell extradition OK’d


A 39-year-old man who faces charges of sexual assault of a child in Illinois has been approved for extradition to that state.

This developed as CNMI Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres issued Friday a governor’s arrest for Sean P. McDonnell, at the extradition request of Illinois Gov. Bruce Vincent Rauner.

After listening to the testimony of police sergeant George F. David and the parties’ arguments, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho found more than ample information that McDonnell is the same person who is a fugitive in Illinois.

Camacho ordered McDonnell’s extradition to Illinois yesterday.

David served the governor’s arrest warrant on McDonnell in court yesterday at 2:50pm.

Camacho set a status conference for Dec. 15, 2017, at 1:30pm, during which it will be determined if the sheriff and/or the designated agents of the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office has already picked up McDonnell from the CNMI by that time.

Chief Prosecutor Michele Harris said that Attorney General Edward Manibusan was pleased with the court’s decision.

“It shows that we are working cooperatively across borders to ensure justice to victims of abuse,” Harris said.

McDonnell is wanted in Illinois on multiple charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl.

A joint effort between the U.S. Marshals and the Department of Public Safety led to McDonnell’s arrest in Susupe last Oct. 6.

Rauner sent Torres an extradition request for McDonnell last Nov. 13.

Rauner said it appears by the probable cause affidavit, information, and warrant that McDonnell, while in Rock Island in Illinois on Feb. 1, 2015, and Sept. 7, 2017, committed the offenses of criminal sexual assault and predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Rauner said the fugitive fled from Illinois and taken refuge in the CNMI.

Rauner asked Torres that McDonnell be apprehended and delivered to the custody of Rock Island County Sheriff Gerry Bustos or his designated agent.

In issuing the governor’s arrest warrant, Torres commanded the Office of the Attorney General, DPS, and any law enforcer to arrest McDonnell and extradite him to Bustos for transport to Illinois.

At the hearing yesterday, assistant attorney general Jonathan L. Wilberscheid asserted that the Commonwealth has established a prima facie case for extraditing McDonnell.

Wilberscheid said that McDonnell’s extradition is appropriate as all the extradition documents have already been filed in court.

David testified that they received information in the first week of October 2017 from the U.S. Marshal about the state warrant and photos of McDonnell. When the CNMI police apprehended McDonnell, he was at the time walking on the main road in Susupe, carrying a backpack, David said.

He said they recognized McDonnell because of the photos and his tattoos on his arms.

David said McDonnell also confirmed it was him and his Illinois driver’s license and other documents confirmed it.

Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski, counsel for McDonnell, said under federal law a fugitive should be extradited 30 days after such order is issued.

Dominksi expressed concern that McDonnell may languish in the Department of Corrections as the extradition request has no specific date as to when the sheriff will pick him up from the CNMI.

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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