Repeat offender pleads guilty in domestic violence case


Denmar Malabanan, a repeat offender accused of punching and biting his girlfriend, pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace on Friday.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho accepted Malabanan’s guilty plea and set the sentencing for Oct. 29 at 9am.

The 27-year-old Malabanan waived the need for a presentence investigation report.

After the hearing, Malabanan was remanded into the custody of the Department of Corrections.

As the court marshal was preparing to take Malabanan back to prison, his girlfriend, who was in the courtroom, told him she loves him. Malabanan replied that he loves her too.

According to court documents, Malabanan punched and slapped his girlfriend in the face on Sept. 13, 2015, on Saipan. She did not seek medical attention.

Last Wednesday, Camacho found the government’s proposed plea deal for Malabanan too lenient. It recommended a sentence of just 90 days in prison.

In rejecting the proposed deal, Camacho said a 90-day prison sentence has no rehabilitative effect, considering Malabanan’s past criminal cases.

“Taking into consideration defendant’s past criminal cases, a 90-day jail sentence also fails to have any deterrence or retribution effect,” the judge said.

The Office of the Attorney General originally charged the 27-year-old Malabanan with assault and battery and disturbing the peace for allegedly beating and kicking his girlfriend, causing bruises on her face, a bleeding nose, bite marks on the shoulder, and other injuries in the body.

The beating arose because Malabanan allegedly did not want his girlfriend to move out of his home.

The charges carry a maximum imprisonment of one year and six months.

Under the proposed plea agreement, Malabanan was supposed to plead guilty to assault and battery.

With Camacho’s rejection of the plea agreement, assistant attorney general Emily Cohen filed on Friday an amended information charging the defendant only with a count of disturbing the peace.

Malabanan and his counsel, assistant public defender Tillman Clark, and assistant attorney general Emily Cohen entered a proposed plea agreement.

The bench trial was supposed to commence today, Monday.

Last February, Malabanan was slapped with a 17-day prison term after pleading guilty to disturbing the peace. He was given credit for 17 days of time served.

Malabanan was also charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree in 2010.

In 2007, the defendant pleaded guilty to robbery.

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.