Former Guard Gets 15 Years for Sexual Assault of Minors

June 5, 2012

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Department of Justice, is committed to protecting the civil rights of our most vulnerable — our children. Those who abuse and exploit our children and violate the very trust placed in them, will be held accountable and prosecuted.”
–Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the NMI

Applause for U.S. District Judge Ramona V. Manglona in sentencing former Kagman Juvenile Detention Center guard Tyron Fitial  to 15 years for the sexual exploitation of minors. The 27-year-old was sentenced to 5 more years than the ten year sentence recommended in the plea agreement. The judge justified the sentence saying that "aggravating circumstances and the vulnerability of the victims allowed the court to adjust the sentencing guideline range upward."

The judge noted that Fitial flaunted his powers and was engaged in "sexual extortion" of several minors. He will be serving his time in a federal prison in the mainland.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Benedetto prosecuted the case, while Assistant U.S. Attorney Clyde Lemons was assigned to the sentencing phase.

Fitial also has a case being prosecuted by the CNMI Office of the Attorney General. He was charged with sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree, two counts of exploitation of a minor, assault and battery, misconduct in office, failure to report child abuse or neglect, and sexual servitude of a minor. There will be a status conference for that case on June 20, 2012.  He is expected to enter a plea agreement according to

A statement from the Governor Fitial's (Tyron Fitial is the governor's nephew) press secretary stated:
“The administration places tremendous trust and confidence in the justice system. From an administrative standpoint, there are governing statutes and personnel regulations that establish procedures relative to government employees who get convicted. The administration holds high regard to the notion that a public office is a public trust. Thus, any breach of that trust is dealt with in accordance to the rule of law and governing regulations.”
Interesting, since quite a few of Fitial's political appointees have been charged with serious crimes or are presently serving time in prison, including his former Lt. Governor Timothy Villagomez, and former Secretary of Commerce, James Santos.

Another Fitial appointee was charged this week with sexually abusing a minor. Fransico Q. Guerrero the owner of an architect firm, was charged with sexual assault of a minor, indecent exposure and disturbing the peace involving at least five separate incidents. Guerrero served as a Chair of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation and was the chair of the State Board of Professional Licensing. He was recently nominated to the MPLT board, but was not confirmed yet by the Senate.

Yesterday Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo released the sexual offender on bail. He will return to court for an arraignment on June 25, 2012.


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