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OAG closes case vs Propst

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The Office of the Attorney General has closed the case involving the sexual criminal allegations against Rep. Edwin Propst (D-Saipan) by declining to prosecute the case because the victims were either over 18 or the complaints already exceeded the statute of limitations.

According to OAG Chief Prosecutor John Bradley, even though reports acquired from the Department of Public Safety seem to confirm the concerns raised in the allegations, there is insufficient factual information and legal justification for pursuing a criminal prosecution against Propst.

“Several of these incidents did not involve a crime because the victims were 18 or older and seemingly provided consent. For those incidents that potentially establish probable cause to believe sexual crimes occurred, the passage of substantial time, expiration of the statute of limitations, and the desire of the victims for confidentiality weighs against prosecution,” he said.

In addition, the eight potential female victims have all indicated they do not want to pursue any charges or become identified in public after so many years after the incidents.

Some of the defining laws in the OAG’s decision include Public Law 3-26 when children were previously defined as a person under the age of 16 years for the purpose of the offense of Sexual Abuse of a Child.

Another law cited was P.L. 3-71 where the offense of Criminal Oral Copulation, unless without consent, only applied to victims under the age of 18. In addition, the statute of limitations for Sexual Abuse of a Child and Criminal Oral Copulation was four years after the commission of the crime

DPS initiated about two years ago its investigation into allegations that Propst engaged in sexual contact or intercourse with several underage females some 20 years ago while he was employed as a teacher at Marianas High School and Northern Marianas College.

One of the victims reported that she had a consensual sexual relationship with Propst in 1999, when he was a teacher while she was a 16-year-old student at MHS.

She added that Propst had consensual sexual relationships with two other individuals that who were also teenagers at the time. DPS took reports from the two.

Two separate victims, who were over 18 at the time of the incident, reported that they had consensual sexual relationship with Propst while he was a teacher at NMC.

One of these victims also reported that Propst, on one occasion, indecently exposed himself while they were in a car. She said that she reported the incident to the NMC administration and thought that Propst had received some administrative consequence. She said she did not know if NMC reported the incident to DPS. She said that Propst later apologized to her.

Another victim, who was 19 at the time, reported that when she was attending NMC, she had a consensual sexual relationship with Propst.

In 1989, a victim who was 14 at the time said an intoxicated Propst got on top of her in her home and attempted to touch her. After she screamed, he got off her and left.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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