Woman’s appeal of perjury conviction is denied


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has dismissed the appeal of a woman who was convicted of perjury and sentenced to 21 months in prison.

Ninth Circuit judges William Cameron Canby Jr., Stephen S. Trott, and Susan P. Graber pointed out that Alexandra Castro Macabalo had waived the right to appeal her conviction.

“Because the record discloses no arguable issue as to the validity of the waiver, we dismiss Macabalo’s appeal as to her conviction,” the Ninth Circuit judges said.

With respect to Macabalo’s sentence, the judges said an independent review of the record shows no arguable grounds for relief, except that the written district court judgment is inconsistent with the district court’s oral pronouncement of a 20-month sentence.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona’s written judgment reflects a 21-month custodial sentence.

Accordingly, the judges affirmed Macabalo’s sentence but remanded the case to the district court to make the judgment consistent with the oral pronouncement.

Macabalo was accused of enticing a 15-year-old girl to engage in sex for cash with a then-CNMI government official in 2013. She pleaded guilty to perjury. She was given credit for time served.

Macabalo appealed from the district court’s judgment and challenged her conviction and sentence.

Attorney Bruce Berline was counsel for Macabalo. Benjamin Petersburg served as co-counsel.

Berline stated in the sentencing memorandum that Macabalo admitted to lying while testifying during a grand jury proceeding involving her uncle, Raymond Roberto.

“Ms. Macabalo has admitted to using methamphetamine and that this played a role in the commission of the offense,” the defense lawyer said.

Under the plea deal, the sentencing guideline range is 15 to 21 months imprisonment.

An information charged Macabalo with one count of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury on May 20, 2014.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Macabalo in April 2015 after a complaint was filed in court, charging her with enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution and other sexual activity. The indictment was later subsequently filed.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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