Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Saipan: Rape Trial of South Korean Tourist Continues, Visitors are Vulnerable to Violent Crime

According to The Saipan Tribune,  a South Korean tourist testified on March 5 local time on how Bradley Demapan, 27, a former resort employee, allegedly raped her in the bushes north of the Pacific Islands Club in San Antonio in July 2013.

The alleged victim was among the government’s six witnesses to testify.

Assistant attorney general Barbara Cepeda is expected to call Guam chief medical examiner Aurelio Espinola and one more witness when trial resumes earlier today.

Defense counsel Steven Pixley said the defense may call at least two witnesses.

COMMENT: Saipan is the second largest island in the Mariana Islands archipelago after Guam. The island is located about 120 mi (190 kilometers) north of Guam and five nautical miles (9.3 kilometers) northeast of Tinian.

Saipan is about 12 miles (19 kilometers) long and 5.6 mi (9.0 kilometers) wide, with a land area of 115.38 square kilometers (44.55 sq miles). 

The alleged victim basically testified how Demapan and another hotel employee joined her and her female friend’s drinking session at the Buoy Bar on the evening of July 25, 2013. Demapan allegedly ended up raping her in the bushes at the resort.

The hotel’s security guard and a tour guide allegedly heard screams and found the victim and Demapan in the bushes north of the club.

The Office of the Attorney General charged the 27-year-old Demapan with sexual assault in the first degree, assault and battery and disturbing the peace. He pleaded not guilty.

Tourists to Saipan are urged to be cautious and exercise a strong sense of personal security awareness as criminality by locals is a clear and present danger. 

Although Asians fall into the majority of tourists in Saipan, the reality is that very few  tourists fully comprehend the criminal threat which is substantial, given the small population of 48,000.

Additionally, the island is small, resulting in a large number of victims among tourists.

Armed robbery, forcible rape, auto theft of rental cars and larceny are commonplace.

The demographics of the island are such that locals are well-represented in the police, the judiciary and juries, resulting in a bias against foreigners.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.