No jail time for suspended Corrections officer


Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo imposed no prison time yesterday on suspended Corrections officer Ray Anthony Maratita Camacho, who was convicted of assault and battery for beating an inmate.

Instead, Govendo put Camacho on three years of probation and ordered him to pay a $500 fine.

Noting Camacho’s 16 years of service at the Department of Corrections, Govendo said there is nothing in the record that indicates that Camacho did bad things or was violent at DOC.

He just made a mistake, Govendo said.

“I’m not going to send you in jail,” Govendo told the 37-year-old Camacho at the sentencing hearing. “I hope that Mr. Camacho does not lose his job [at DOC].”

Sending Camacho to prison will only put him at risk, Govendo said, as he is already a “marked man” among inmates

Camacho did not speak in court and was silent as he emerged from the courtroom. He refused to speak to the media.

His defense lawyer, Colin Thompson, had recommended zero prison term, saying Camacho has no criminal history and no records of inappropriate behavior or violent actions.

Thompson said the court knows that there is no training for DOC officers.

After the hearing, Thompson said it was a fair sentence.

Thompson said that, as Govendo had stated, when police officers or DOC officers find themselves in trouble, jail would be more dangerous place for them than other citizens and therefore the penalty of imposing a jail sentence is different for them than others.

When asked if Camacho has plans to appeal his conviction, Thompson said he will talk to him about that.

“We still have our time to put together a notice of appeal. We can still file an appeal. We will be looking at that and make our decision,” the defense counsel said.

Assistant attorney general Matthew Baisley had recommended a short prison term like a week at DOC. Imposing no prison term on Camacho would send a wrong message, he said.

Baisley noted that Camacho has expressed no remorse for his crime.

Baisley said that Camacho, however, deserves to be given credit for having no criminal history and for his 16 years of service at DOC.

In an interview, Baisley said the Office of the Attorney General took a position that there should be some kind of prison sentence because Camacho is a public employee and he abused his position and should have been punished on some level, but the judge disagreed.

Baisley even wondered why Govendo went ahead with the sentencing given that the Office of Adult Probation has yet to complete its presentence investigation report.

The prosecutor said a presentence investigation report is typically submitted and the Office of Adult Probation makes a recommendation, and they would go through the whole process.

“Here, for whatever reason, we skipped that entire process, jumped right to the end, and made a sentencing decision,” Baisley said.

In fact, he said, he got a notice that they won’t go with the sentencing yesterday with the absence of the presentence investigation report.

“I was frankly somewhat blindsided,” Baisley said.

In other cases, he said, if the presentence investigation report is not ready, the judge continues the sentencing and waits for the report.

Baisley said it is not surprising, however, that the Office of Adult Probation has yet to complete the report as typically they take around four to six months to do it.

In this case, Baisley said the Office of Adult Probation had only two months to submit the report.

Following an eight-day bench trial, last April 18 Govendo found Camacho guilty of assault and battery over the beating of Ryan Cavalear at DOC on April 1, 2016. He used an illegal headlock to subdue Cavalear.

The OAG also charged Corrections officer Admisen Haddy over the beating of Cavalear, but the government dismissed the charges against him after he signed a deal with the government and testified for the government at Camacho’s trial.

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.