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AG’s office wants sexual abuse of a minor case reassigned to different judge

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THE Office of the Attorney General’s criminal division has asked Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja to reassign the preliminary hearing for a sexual abuse of a minor case to a different judge.

In her motion, Assistant Attorney General Samantha Vickery said the court should reassign the preliminary hearing rather than reset the date for a third time.

Rudolph Rudolph, a Federated States of Micronesia national, was charged on Aug. 5 with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree and four counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

Vickery said a preliminary hearing was originally set for the same day, but the Public Defender’s Office requested to withdraw representation because of conflict.

She said a private counsel was appointed and the case came before the court again for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 12.  “On that date, the defense made a verbal motion to compel all tangible materials in order to cross-examine the detective in the case,” Vickery said.

The AG’s office objected to the request and the court continued the preliminary hearing to Sept. 2. Vickery said Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho then vacated the arraignment, “a function reserved for the presiding judge, scheduled for Aug. 17.”

On Aug. 12 Judge Camacho issued an order to the defense to file a written motion and request for intangible materials.

On Aug. 17, the defense attorney filed a motion for all tangible materials used by law enforcement to establish probable cause to fully and properly cross-examine the government witness.

The AG’s office filed an opposition on Aug. 24, citing the preliminary hearing’s lack of jurisdiction to entertain motions to compel discovery as well as several other reasons.

On Aug. 26, Judge Camacho issued a sua sponte order resetting the preliminary hearing for a third time to Sept. 23.

“This sua sponte order also vacated the arraignment for a second time, a function reserved for the presiding judge and moved it from Sept. 14 to Sept. 23,” Vickery said.

She is requesting Presiding Judge Naraja to have the preliminary hearing reassigned to another available judge and heard on Sept. 2.

She added that the court lacks jurisdiction to delay the preliminary hearing outside the initial 10-day period.

Variety failed to get a statement from Judge Camacho.

Chief prosecutor John Bradley, in a previous statement to Variety, said: “We are taking the position that Judge Camacho is the only trial judge considering this type of premature discovery, resulting in substantial delays in preliminary hearings.”

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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