OAG: Testimony not influenced by suggestive interview techniques


The Office of the Attorney General is opposing a motion to exclude the testimony of a female minor who was allegedly sexually abused by a 28-year-old man.

Assistant attorney general Frances T. Demapan said the issue as to whether or not pretrial investigative techniques influenced a child witness’ memory “is a question of reliability, which speaks to the witness’s credibility, not competency to testify.”

“Such issues should be presented to the trier of fact for a determination and should not require an evidentiary hearing held in advance of trial,” said Demapan in the government’s request to deny Peter Orren Aldan’s motion to exclude the testimony of the child.

Aldan, through counsel, claims the girl’s testimony was a result of suggestive or coercive interview techniques.

Demapan said Aldan has failed to make an initial showing that the girl’s memory may have been tainted through suggestive or coercive interview tactics.

The prosecutor said a detective follow-up interview with the child’s mother, less than three hours after the incident, also fails to show the use of any suggestive or coercive interviewing techniques.

According to a police report, the mother stated that she walked in on Aldan on the bed with her daughter last Jan. 4. The mother said she saw Aldan pull his hand off the girl’s pants, so she raised her voice, asking him what he was doing. The mother said her child told her that Aldan touched her inappropriately. Aldan denied the allegation.

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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