Sex offender placed under house arrest

Defendant allowed to post $50K property bond

A sex offender who has been detained since being arrested in October 2014 for allegedly sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy was allowed yesterday to post a $50,000 property bond.

At a bail modification hearing, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo placed the 53-year-old Jose Albert Santos under house arrest.

Govendo found Santos’ sister, Brenda S. Aguon, and her husband, William Aguon, suitable as third-party custodians.

The judge ordered Brenda Aguon to supervise Santos at all times.

Govendo prohibited Santos from leaving the house unless to meet with his attorney and his doctor for mental competency determination.

No children are allowed at the house while Santos is there, Govendo said.

A status conference will be held on July 21, 2015 at 1:30pm.

Assistant public defender Michael Sato, counsel for Santos, asked the court to modify the $50,000 cash bail the court earlier imposed and allow Santos to post a 1,763-square-meter property.

Assistant attorney general Shannon Folley opposed the motion, saying that Santos poses a danger to minors.

Sato recently asked the court to appoint a psychiatrist to evaluate Santos’ current mental state for competency. The court granted the motion but Santos has yet to be evaluated.

In October 2014, police arrested Santos for two counts of sexual assault in the first degree, two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, two counts of indecent exposure in the second degree, two counts of assault and battery, and two counts of disturbing the peace.

The boy alleged that Santos had been sexually abusing him since September 2014 and would give him $2 to $10 after each incident.

Santos pleaded guilty to sex abuse of a child in March 1998, and is a registered sex offender, police said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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