It has been a very difficult time for Xinzhou Ren, the 20-year-old overstaying Chinese tourist who was convicted of lying to federal authorities and was sentenced to four days of time-served, but his lawyer says the defendant is looking forward to returning home to China.
“We felt that the [U.S.] government’s concern about respect for the law was well taken,” said Robert T. Torres, adding that the court considered Ren’s age and the facts of the case and dispensed the sentence that it thought was appropriate.
At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona placed Ren on one year of supervised release, directed him to report to immigration authorities for deportation, and pay $100 in court costs.
With the conviction, Ren will no longer be able to stay in the CNMI, Torres said in an interview Monday afternoon.
Torres recommended a sentence of 30 to 60 days of imprisonment. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, counsel for the U.S. government, recommended a sentence of six months in prison.
U.S. Probation recommended a time-served sentence.
Manglona noted that Ren is young, has no prior criminal case, and volunteered to surrender to start serving his prison term. Manglona said that imposing more prison time on Ren would not necessarily deter others.
Manglona said she hopes that Ren would return to his country of origin and become law-abiding.
Before the sentence was handed down, the defendant, through an interpreter, apologized to the court and prosecution for what he did.
The tearful Ren narrated to the court, among other things, how he ended up on Saipan, how he was embarrassed by his actions, and worry about his mother, whom he misses.