Probable cause found to try man in sexual assault of a minor case


The Superior Court has found probable cause to try a man for charges of sexual assault of a minor, among other charges.

Following a preliminary hearing last Friday, August 26, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho found probable cause to try Manuel Mark I. Okaruru, 47, for the crimes of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, child abuse, domestic violence: assault, and disturbing the peace.

“Based upon the matters adduced at the hearing, the court finds probable cause to believe that the crimes stated were committed and the person who may have committed said offenses is Manuel Mark I. Okaruru. The defendant is therefore held to answer said charges,” Camacho stated in his order.

During the hearing, the government appeared through Chief Prosecutor Chester Hinds while the defendant, who appeared under the custody of the Department of Corrections, was represented by court-appointed counsel Brien Sers Nicholas.

Previously, Camacho imposed a $50,000 cash bail on Okaruru for charges including sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, assault and battery, and more, for allegedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

According to court documents, Department of Public Safety units responded to a disturbance call at the Toha Market in San Antonio at around 9:15pm last Aug. 17. Officers met with a woman there, who asked police officers to check on her daughter as Okaruru was allegedly hurting her.

They then followed the woman to a house near Toha, where the woman burst into tears and told the officers that Okaruru was hurting her 12-year-old daughter, all while pointing to a girl who was standing nearby. The woman then called the girl over and encouraged her to tell police what had happened, which led the child to start crying before saying that Okaruru touched her privates.

However, as the girl was talking to police, Okaruru was heard calling out to her, which led the victim to stop talking. Police noted that the girl “appeared scared to talk” so they removed the girl and her mother from the area.

The woman told police that Okaruru had shown up at the residence at around 6pm that day, Aug. 17, and she heard him call the child before hearing him “getting mad” at the girl. When she looked outside, she said she saw Okaruru pull out a lighter and threw it at the girl.

Meanwhile, the girl told police that Okaruru was “getting mad” at her because he believes she was plotting against him to have the police “take him away” for his drug use.

In a separate interview the following day, Aug. 18, at the Division of Youth Services, the girl stated that Okaruru hits her mother and touches her inappropriately. The victim said that Okaruru started “touching” her around February or March this year and the abuse had continued during the summer.

The victim said she constantly tells Okaruru to stop but he had threatened to hurt her on one occasion.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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
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