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Man gets 30 days for assaulting daughter

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SUPERIOR Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja has sentenced Michael Lee Borja to one-year imprisonment, but all suspended except 30 days, for hitting the defendant’s then-12-year-old daughter.

Borja has pleaded guilty to one count of assault and battery.

According to the plea agreement,  he will serve the 30 days’ sentence every weekend starting on Oct. 16 to 18, then every weekend until Jan. 15 to 18, 2021.

After serving his sentence, he will  be placed on two-year probation.

The judge also ordered Borja to pay the $25 court costs and $250 fine.

A Tinian resident,  Borja was arrested in February after he slapped the face of his 12-year-old daughter and punched her right arm. She said her father also pulled her ear and pushed her.

Borja, through Assistant Public Defender Vena Seelam, told the court that he would take up residence on Saipan while serving the sentence.

Assistant Attorney General Samantha Vickery appeared for the government at the sentencing hearing.

Judge Naraja scheduled a review hearing for Feb. 12, 2021 at 9 a.m.

Borja was initially charged with child abuse, which is punishable by five years’ imprisonment and $2,000 fine or both.

In a freely given statement to the police, Borja denied hitting his daughter, but added that he was angry at the girl for locking and closing the door to her room while she was inside with a friend.

As punishment, Borja said he spanked her behind with a belt and grounded her.

But according to the girl, every time her father got drunk he would become a “different person.” She said she did not feel safe around him and did not want to live with him anymore.

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