Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested last week a woman who allegedly enticed her then-15-year-old cousin to engage in sex in exchange for cash with former acting director of the CNMI Division of Fish and Wildlife Robert B. Roberto in April 2013.
Alexandra Castro Macabalo was taken to federal court on Friday morning for a bail hearing after the FBI arrested her based on a complaint charging her with enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution and other sexual activity.
U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge David A. Wiseman released Macabalo on her own recognizance with some conditions, including an 8pm to 8am curfew.
Preliminary hearing will be on April 30 at 1:30pm.
Attorney Bruce Berline appeared as court-appointed counsel for Macabalo.
Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe, as counsel for the U.S. government, did not oppose releasing Macabalo.
Backe stated that although Macabalo is accused of a very serious offense that carries a mandatory 10 years up to life in prison, she does not pose a flight risk, is not a danger to the community, and has children to care for.
FBI special agent Haejun Park stated in his affidavit that on July 23, 2013, and Aug. 8, 2013, FBI agents interviewed a then-15-year-old girl who told them, among other things, that Roberto paid her to have sex on a number of occasions, beginning in March 2013.
Park said the girl also disclosed that Roberto used the phone number (670) 287-6133 to communicate with her, among others.
Park said that IT&E was subpoenaed for information on that phone number and the records showed it to be registered under Roberto’s name.
Park obtained a search warrant for information associated with Roberto’s (670) 287-6133. He cited an exchange of text messages between Roberto’s number and a cell phone number (670) 989-3474 on April 12, 2013.
When Macabalo was called before the grand jury on May 20, 2014, she admitted sending text messages to Roberto using (670) 989-3474 in April 2013, Park said.
When asked about the text messages, Macabalo claimed they were just a “prank,” Park added.
The exchange of text messages between the two numbers appeared that Roberto and Macabalo were discussing how he can get her cousin. Roberto also allegedly promised that Macabalo would get a commission if “all goes well.”
Park said that, on Aug. 22, 2014, the girl was called as a witness in the trial of Roberto and testified about the text messages.
Park said at the trial, when asked if she remembers approximately when she left her father’s house, she stated it was when her mother got admitted to the hospital for labor in April.
Park said the girl testified that she left her father’s house after she got a text message from her cousin, Macabalo. Park said she testified that after she left her father’s house, she went to a poker arcade in Dandan to have sex in exchange for cash.
The girl said her phone at that time was (670) 788-1300.
On March 5, 2015, a grand jury subpoena was issued to Docomo Pacific for subscriber information and toll records for (670) 989-3474. The records showed the phone number was registered under Macabalo’s name.
On March 26, 2015, Park obtained a search warrant for information associated with Macabalo’s number.
Park said a subsequent review of the text messages showed an exchange between Macabalo’s number and the girl’s (670) 788-1300 on April 12, 2013.
The exchange of text messages appeared that Macabalo was arranging to pick up her cousin and asking to make sure that the minor girl wanted “to do it.”
“I want the cash. am good,” said the girl in her alleged text to Macabalo.
In September 2014, a federal court jury acquitted Roberto of all charges that he enticed three minor girls to engage in prostitution and tampered with a witness while in jail.
The 12 jurors found the 41-year-old Roberto not guilty of three counts of enticing minors to engage in prostitution and one count of witness tampering.
In the third superseding indictment, the prosecution alleged that Roberto persuaded three minors to engage in prostitution or in sexual activity from March 1, 2013 to July 18, 2013.
On the witness tampering matter, the prosecution stated that the offense happened on April 24, 2014 while Roberto was detained pending trial.
The prosecution alleged said the defendant attempted to obstruct, influence, and impede the case by attempting to influence the testimony of an individual.