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Man in sex abuse of a minor case is exonerated

The Superior Court has granted the prosecution’s motion to dismiss the charges against a man accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho granted last Friday the prosecution’s request to dismiss the sexual assault charge against Tim Onopey with prejudice. Dismissal with prejudice means the case cannot be refiled.

Despite granting the dismissal, Camacho determined that the government’s motion to dismiss without prejudice was made in bad faith because the government has admitted that it cannot prove its case at trial because the alleged victim and the defendant have stated that their sexual intercourse was consensual.

“The government has failed to disclose appropriate grounds for dismissal without prejudice. The government has not stated any reasonable grounds for the dismissal without prejudice except to continue with its mantra of good faith while admitting that it cannot prove its case,” said Camacho.

“The people of the CNMI would have no confidence in the independence of the judiciary if one branch can simply ask for dismissal without prejudice simply because it has prosecutorial power. Judicial integrity would be preserved both for the accused and the community if the government can prove its case against those charged and if it cannot do so, absent any material and compelling reasons, then dismissal with prejudice is appropriate. This case is not about sanctioning the prosecution—it is about affirming the rule of due process and a person’s constitutional rights,” the judge added.


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