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Probable cause found to try Rudolph for sex abuse of minor

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The Superior Court has finally found probable cause to try Rudolph Rudolph after his preliminary hearing was pushed back several times.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho found probable cause last week to proceed with the trial of Rudolph, 55, for sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

According to Camacho, after hearing the testimony of the prosecution’s witness, detective Shannon Dela Cruz, and based on the matters presented at the hearing, the court found probable cause to believe that Rudolph did commit the charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

However, the court dismissed without prejudice three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree. These charges stem from the government’s allegations that there were over 20 such incidents on six different dates.

Camacho said the charges were dismissed without prejudice because, upon hearing the testimony of the witness, the court found weak evidence on the essential elements of the offenses to find probable cause that Rudolph committed the charges.

“The court is cognizant that the government doesn’t have to prove the exact date and the ‘on or about’ date can suffice generally for most charges. However, here, the government has arbitrarily and randomly selected dates for six possible criminal incidents from over 20 possible incidents during a period of over three years. Without more, the defendant does not know what charges or incidents in the past three years he has to defend against. The court is unable to determine which of the six alleged incidents from the over 20 possible incidents to make a probable cause determination,” he said.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, on July 20, at about 2:25pm, the Department of Public Safety received a report of a sexual assault case on a minor through the Department of Youth Services. The suspect in the case was identified as Rudolph.

On July 19, Associate Judge Theresa Kim-Tenorio authorized the issuance of an arrest warrant for Rudolph for the charges of sexual assault of a minor in the first degree and sexual assault of a minor in the second degree, with a cash bail set at $50,000.

However, probable cause to try Rudolph was only found now, months after his arrest, because his preliminary hearing was postponed thrice due to procedural matters.

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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