A Superior Court jury trial began yesterday in the case of a 56-year-old man accused of raping an 18-year-old student in a jungle area at the Saipan airport.
Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio selected the jurors who will decide the fate of John Santos Aldan, a retired Commonwealth Utilities Corp. power plant operator.
The prosecution and the defense gave their opening statements.
The trial will resume today, Tuesday.
Assistant attorneys general Teri Tenorio and Jonathan Glass Jr. are prosecuting the case. Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig and assistant public defender Cindy Nesbit are counsel for Aldan.
The Office of the Attorney General charged Aldan with sexual assault in the first degree, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace.
The alleged victim told police that Aldan picked her up from school on Feb. 8, 2016. Instead of taking the usual route, Aldan drove her to a jungle area by the ARFF building at the Francisco C. Ada-Saipan International Airport.
The teenager said Aldan grabbed her neck and raped her inside his red Toyota T100 pickup truck.
She later told her mother about the incident. Her mother then called the police. Aldan was arrested the following day, Feb. 9.