Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 23 Feb 2019 10am







    Saturday, February 23, 2019-6:46:34A.M.






Font Size


Judge suspends rape trial

DUE to multiple objections from the defense lawyer, Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja suspended the ongoing trial of Manolo Romolor who was accused of raping an intoxicated woman in Nov. 2016.

Romolor, 35, is represented by attorney Bruce Berline, who raised one objection after another during the testimony of a police detective, Catherine Pangelinan.

Robert Naraja

Berline said the detective’s testimony based on a report that she wrote was impermissible and improper, and therefore hearsay.

Judge Naraja then ordered Berline to file a written motion for mistrial at 8 a.m., today, Thursday. The prosecution, for its part, was ordered to respond to the motion.

Judge Naraja will hear the arguments of the parties at 4 p.m., Thursday.

On Tuesday, the alleged victim testified and was cross-examined by Berline.

The 37-year-old woman said she could not remember if the button-fly short pants she was wearing  was on her or off her during the alleged sexual assault incident.

Berline noted that the alleged victim “remembered” that her shirt was on her when Romolor was allegedly raping her.

In reply to Berline’s question about her work experience, she said she had been to other countries, including Japan, by herself before coming to Saipan to work as a table supervisor for the casino.

The lead prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Teri Tenorio, objected to Berline’s line of questioning.

Berline said he was only trying to establish that the complaining witness was an independent woman.

Judge Naraja overruled the objection.

According to the prosecution, Romolor took advantage of the woman’s intoxicated state and sexually assaulted her.

But according to the defense, Romolor did not force her to have sex with him.