OAG requests reassignment of sex abuse case

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Posted on Sep 03 2020

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The Office of the Attorney General’s criminal division has asked the court to reassign to a different judge the preliminary hearing for a sexual abuse of a minor case.

Assistant attorney general Samantha Vickery entered a motion before Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja to reassign the preliminary hearing of Rudolph Rudolph rather than to reset the date for a third time.

Rudolph was charged on Aug. 5 with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and four counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

A preliminary hearing was originally set for the same day, but the Public Defender’s Office requested to withdraw representation because of conflict. A private counsel was appointed and the case came before the court again for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 12.

Vickery said the defense made a verbal motion on Aug. 12 to compel all tangible materials in order to cross-examine the detective in the case but the OAG objected to the request and the court continued the preliminary hearing to Sept. 2.

On Aug. 12 Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho issued an order to the defense to file a written motion and request for intangible materials.

On Aug. 17, the defense attorney filed a motion for all tangible materials used by law enforcement to establish probable cause to fully and properly cross-examine the government witness.

The OAG filed an opposition on Aug. 24, citing the preliminary hearing’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain motions to compel discovery as well as several other reasons.

On Aug. 26, Camacho issued a sua sponte order resetting the preliminary hearing for a third time to Sept. 23. Sua sponte is an act of authority taken without formal prompting from another party.

“This sua sponte order also vacated the arraignment for a second time, a function reserved for the presiding judge and moved it from Sept. 14 to Sept. 23,” Vickery said.

Kimberly Bautista | 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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