CNMI Fish And Wildlife Official Arrested For Sex With Minor

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Acting director surrenders voluntarily after warrant issued

By Andrew O. De Guzman

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Sept. 4, 2013) – Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) acting Director Raymond Borja Roberto, 39, was arrested by the FBI on Aug. 31, 2013 on the charge of having sexual intercourse with three 15-year-old girls on several occasions.

The FBI submitted a complaint against Roberto on Aug. 30, 2013 that was sealed upon the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy issued the warrant for Roberto’s arrest on Friday.

He surrendered the following day to the Department of Public Safety upon learning that federal agents were looking for him, Variety was told.

On Tuesday afternoon, Roberto was escorted by the U.S. Marshals Service for an initial appearance before Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona who scheduled a detention hearing for Sept. 6, 2013. A preliminary examination will be held on Sept. 17, 2013.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rami Badawy, who represented the federal government, moved for the detention of Roberto, and for a detention hearing. FBI Special Agent Haejun Park, who arrested Roberto, was also seated at the government’s table.

Attorney Joaquin DLG. Torres, who was retained by Robert as defense counsel, didn’t object.

Judge Manglona remanded Roberto to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following the hearing.

In 2009, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrested Roberto who was already then a CNMI DFW employee, for "ice" distribution. Other details of the case were not immediately available.

Roberto’s arrest on Saturday stemmed from video footage sent to the Department of Public Safety’s Crime Stoppers’ tip line on July 16, 2013. The footage showed DPS firefighter Richard S. Benavente, 43, engaging in sexual acts with 15-year-old girls who were procured from Annette Nakatsukasa Basa, also known as the "mamasang." Benanvente and Basa have been arrested and are currently in jail on separate charges of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children. They have denied the charges.

FBI special agent Park told the federal court that at least three girls, all 15, had sexual contacts with Roberto, also known as "Jerald."

Roberto used his cell phone to arrange to meet with the first minor on numerous occasions for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, Park said.

In an interview with the first minor, the FBI learned that Roberto is married to the aunt of the girl.

Beginning in March 2013, on the same day the girl ran away from home, the girl began engaging in sexual conduct with Roberto who picked up the girl at a poker hall, and drove her to the Parkville Motel in Gualo Rai, where he engaged in sexual intercourse with her, the FBI said.

Roberto engaged in sexual intercourse with the first girl at Parkville Motel on approximately 10 different occasions, the complaint stated.

Roberto also engaged in sexual conduct with the first girl at his residence on Airport Road, and at the "farm" next to the Benavente apartments in As Lito, the complaint added.

On at least one occasion at the Parkville Motel in addition to engaging in sexual conduct with the first girl, Roberto engaged in sexual conduct with a second minor, and a third minor, both 15.

On another occasion, Roberto brought the first girl to a room in a building in Garapan, where they met a Chinese woman.

Roberto then had sex with the first girl. When they were finished, Roberto told the minor that the Chinese woman filmed them engaging in sexual conduct, and paid Roberto $1,000 to make a sexually explicit video. Roberto gave the minor $100 for this encounter, the FBI said.

The FBI said Roberto paid the minor between $40 and $150 for each sexual encounter.

Roberto used two cell phone numbers to contact the minor while the minor used a particular cell phone number which was provided to the FBI.

The last time the minor met Roberto was in early July when Roberto engaged in oral sexual conduct with the minor at "the farm." He gave the minor $40.

The FBI reviewed the toll records which were released pursuant to a grand-jury subpoena for IT&E. No subscription information was available for the first number because it was associated with a pre-paid service, while the second cell-phone number was registered to Roberto.

The FBI also interviewed the second and the third girls.

On one occasion the three minors were picked up at the CYC Market in Kagman and brought to a motel by a man named "Jerald," later identified as Roberto.

At the motel, Roberto engaged in oral sex with the second minor who later saw Roberto engaging in sexual intercourse with the third girl. Roberto gave each of the minors $100.

According to the third girl, during the Flame Tree Arts Festival in April, a man named Jerald, later identified as Roberto from a supplied photo, picked up the three of them in Kagman and drove them to the Parkville Motel, where Roberto engaged in sexual intercourse with the third minor. Roberto then gave the first minor $300 of which the first minor gave $100 to the third girl.

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