Complaints Filed In Joint Investigation Of Sex Offenses Involving Children
Saipan, MP – United States Attorney for the Districts of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands Alicia A.G. Limtiaco, together with Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Attorney General Joey P. San Nicolas, Honolulu Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Vida Bottom, and CNMI Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero announced today the filing of federal charges stemming from a joint investigation of sex offenses involving children:
- a federal criminal complaint charging ANNETTE NAKATSUKASA BASA with Sex Trafficking of Children. A conviction carries a statutory minimum of at least ten years of imprisonment and up to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
- a federal criminal complaint charging RICHARD SULLIVAN BENAVENTE with Sexual Exploitation of Children. A conviction carries a statutory minimum of fifteen years of imprisonment and up to a maximum sentence of thirty years of imprisonment.
- Defendants BASA and BENAVENTE made their initial appearance today in the U.S. District Court before the Honorable Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona. Detention hearings for both defendants will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM and preliminary hearings will be held on Friday, August 30, 2013, at 9:00 AM, in the U.S. District Court for the NMI.
“Protecting our children and community from those who engage in human trafficking and the exploitation of children is a top priority of the Department of Justice,” said U.S. Attorney Limtiaco. “This investigation shows the commitment of federal and local law enforcement to work together to investigate and prosecute child exploitation and to rescue and assist victims.”
The investigation originated with the CNMI Department of Public Safety and was investigated jointly by DPS Criminal Bureau of Investigations and the FBI. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rami Badawy and Ross Naughton.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.