OAG to introduce evidence that Army reservist molested others


The Office of the Attorney General plans to introduce new evidence that a retired Army reservist who is accused of sexually abusing two minors committed other acts of child molestation.

Assistant attorney general Betsy Weintraub informed the Superior Court on Monday that, in one case, the government plans to introduce evidence that 54-year-old Michael Barry Murphy sexually molested the aunt of one victim from 1994 to 2004 when she was a minor. The victim in this case is now 21 years old.

The incidents allegedly happened between June to August 2007 and June to August 2008, according to court documents.

In this case, the OAG charged Murphy with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, and one count of indecent exposure in the first degree.

The aunt is now 26 years old, according to Weintraub.

Weintraub said defense counsel Janet H. King has been provided with discovery that summarizes the aunt’s expected testimony.

King asked the court yesterday to grant a preliminary hearing so that Murphy can obtain information regarding the charges against him and file a bill of particulars.

A bill of particulars refers to a list of written statements made by a party to a court proceeding, upon demand of another party in the case that seeks for more details of a claim or defense.

Murphy is currently released in the other criminal case after posting a $50,000 bond.

The other case charged the defendant with sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. In that case, he allegedly sexually abused a 4-year-old girl on Aug. 6, 2016.

King said the court has discretion to determine whether Murphy is substantially deprived, pointing out that Murphy had to pay a $50,000 cash bail and had to surrender his travel documents.

“This is a substantial condition that infringes upon defendant’s constitutional right to travel, and deprives him of substantial liberty interests,” the defense counsel said.

King added that a preliminary hearing should also give Murphy a reasonable opportunity to learn of the basis of the charges against him and to file a bill of particulars.

At a preliminary hearing last August in the case involving a 4-year-old girl, Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio found probable cause to believe that the crimes of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor were committed and that Murphy may have committed the offenses.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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