Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Need To Know

Freshening breezes and some real rain (a downpour Sunday night/Monday morning and some passing cloudbursts since). Could be the approach of rainy season.

With the arrest of Angel Jess Santos, one of the alleged perpetrators of the rape of the Kagman girl, there's been a demand for more information, more accountability on what's being done by law enforcement here in Saipan. The other two alleged perpetrators remain at large. We have heard nothing yet on arrests for the rape of the girl in CK. We are waiting on other cases, too.

There is no internet access to the names on the sex offender registry; DPS only posts general information about this supposed enforcement tool. Wendy discusses the need for this to be made public and available to all in a recent blog post. We should be demanding better response from our DPS on this.

Without the registry, it's hard for the public to keep track.

This would be an excellent topic for a series of articles by the newspapers. They could list the names of all arrested for sex abuse, sexual molestation, statutory rape, rape and assaults with intent to molest or rape--by year, giving the charges made. They could let us know who was convicted, what cases are still pending, and what cases are over without convictions. They could let us know if cases were mishandled or dropped or dismissed. They could do a study of sentences handed out to those convicted. They could tell us who's still in jail and who is out--and what role parole played in the release of sex offenders. They could focus on sex abuse of minors. Or they could feature different types of sex abuse each day. We've got plenty to go around here in Saipan.

They could talk with experts about what parents and teachers should do to teach their sons to respect girls and women; what they should do to help girls stay safe and demand the respect they are entitled to.

They could talk with CHC officials about what a victim may experience once at the hospital. And tell us if the rumors that there are no unexpired DNA kits in Saipan is true or not. Besides getting evidence and taking care of physical injuries, what help is available to the victim?

There's a good start on the names of Saipan's pedophiles and alleged perpetrators/pedophiles at the Isa Drive blog. It only included 52 names. In April 2009, DPS said they had 122 names on their sex offender registry.

But we need investigative journalism. The 4th estate is essential to preserve our liberty. And being able to be a child and be free from molestation, to be a teen and walk to and from school without being raped, these are are essential aspects of liberty.

If you start clicking on the names from Isa Drive's blog, you'll find many, many of them are reports of arrest; if you try to find out what happened (do a search on the newspaper archives, e.g.), you get nothing. The newspapers are reporting arrests, and not following up.

It also seems that Isa Drive's list omits some names including Angel Palacios, Salden Manuel and Daniel Johnny, Denmar Malabanan, Geoffrey K. Cabreraand Michael J. Dodd (although he's left the CNMI).

And another news report from 2007 told us about two sex offenders from Guam who moved to the CNMI and failed to register. This is why we need a sex offender's registry. We the public can't keep track. We don't know who was convicted; we don't know who is still here and who has left; we don't know who has moved here from elsewhere.

And we need to know. Before more bad things happen.


Isa said...

Thank you for your suggestions. I have updated the list.

Saipan Writer said...

Good work, Isa.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
I will share with you my case and how it shows the inaction of the law enforcement to solve the on-going case. Is it because of family connection or simply the inability of those in authority to enforce the law and protect its citizen. I was burglarized early this year and my neighbors told us that he saw who was forcing entry into our house that day. I told that to the investigator but never did the investigator went back to my neighbor to asked him that will give a lead to my case. After a month I got a tip that some of the stolen item was at the pawnshop. It was right so we informed the investigator and reposessed the item from the pawnshop. The person that pawned the stolen item was the same person that my neighbor told us. Its been almost half year now but my case still seating there. The alleged perpetrators is still on the loose and roaming around in our place everyday. I wonder if this person is connected or has something to do with other burglary that happening on the island. One more thing, the investigator told me that he cannot give me the name or any information on my case bacause it was connected with other case.
Jane, is it how it supposed to be, I am not allowed to know who was the suspect/person involved in my case because it is still under investigation and it is connected with other case. If my case with a very good lead takes half year but still nobody was put in jail, I wonder how much longer are those crimes that no information or lead. I urge the community to call crime stopper hotline should they have any information on any crime. It may not happen to you now or your may not a victim but the fact that our community is no longer a safe and peaceful place, everyone has the moral obligation to make it a better one for the sake of our children.

Saipan Writer said...

Anon 5:24 PM
I'm glad you got some of your stuff back.

I'm not at all sure why the police are doing such a bad job now. It may be "influence" or "corruption" but it may be something less bad, like ineptitude or being short-staffed, or maybe they're watching the guy to see if they can catch him in the act for a better case.

Did they do any fingerprinting when they came to your house for the investigation?

And as for their saying they can't tell you anything, talk with the Victims' Rights office--they should be able to help get you information about your case. (I don't know if they're doing anything but they should be.)

I think you should put your story in writing and make a copy. Use the name of the alleged burglar, if you know it. Hand deliver it to the DPS and get their acknowledgement of receipt on the copy. Then there is no excuse from them that you didn't tell them the full story.

If you haven't received everything back--some items still gone--you can take the guy who stole your things to court in a civil case (if you know his name). It's called "conversion." You'd need your neighbor and the pawnshop guy to testify (you can subpoena the pawnshop guy and his records).

And if you want to take it further, you can always write about your experience to the newspapers. I don't know that the DPS would be the least bit embarrassed, after all they've been through, but perhaps.

Isa said...

One reason the police are in such a bad position is because all the veteran police keep getting sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. What is left on Saipan are the rookie police who don't know their ass from their pistol.

The Saipan Blogger said...

I have heard similar sentiments about police being sent off to war.

Anonymous said...

Um... I know personally of one of the guys on the Isa Road list that currently works for the government. He was on the newly released sex offender registry when it came out. Apparently he was pardoned??? so they took him off the next day. How many people should be on the list but were "pardoned" before it went public?