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    Friday, August 23, 2019-6:06:40P.M.






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Registered sex offender’s request for DPS records OK’d

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio granted a sex offender’s request for Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry records.

Benjamin Mafnas Hattori, a registered sex offender on Guam, was arrested on Saipan after he was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl in Feb. 2018.

Hattori, 42, pled not guilty to the charges of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, violating the sex offender registry and disturbing the peace.

Hattori is represented by Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Boutsicaris, who filed four separate motions on behalf of the defendant: 1) motion to dismiss the charge of violation of sex offender registry); 2) motion to compel discovery of offender records; 3) motion to compel discovery of witness statements to the victim’s advocate; and 4) motion to exclude testimony of the child witness.

The judge granted only the motion to compel discovery of offender records.

Hattori requested: 1) documents from DPS, the CNMI Bureau of Investigation, or the CNMI Sex Offender Registry regarding the supervision or registration of the defendant as a sex offender, including documents related to mandated appointments, home visits, documents related to his registered residence, and any attempts to evaluate his threat level as a sex offender; and

2) records related to the classification of defendant as a Level 3 sex offender.

Judge Kim-Tenorio said the requested documents could potentially be used by the defendant to show whether the Commonwealth took measures to evaluate his threat level to society or to re-classify him as a different level of sex offender.

She added that the defendant has advanced a constitutional argument against the Commonwealth’s sex offender registry statute, thus the documents sought by the defense may be exculpatory.

The judge denied the government’s motion to introduce evidence of fresh complaint.

The government is represented by Assistant Attorney General Samantha Vickery.

According to the prosecution, Hattori on Nov. 21, 2018 did engage in sexual contact with a 14-year-old.

Hattori also violated the sex offender registry requirements by residing in a residence where minors were present, the government said, adding that the then-14-year-old victim resided in the same household with the defendant.

Police said it was the victim’s mother who reported the child abuse incident. She told police that her live-in boyfriend Hattori inappropriately touched her daughter.

Hattori, who was born on Guam, was previously convicted of third degree criminal sexual conduct as a second degree felony on Sept. 10, 2002. The victim was a 15-year-old girl. He later relocated to Songsong, Rota.

In Oct. 2015 a Rota jury found Hattori not guilty of burglary, but Judge Joseph N. Camacho convicted him of theft and criminal mischief bench counts.