VIDEO: Crisostomo Found Guilty of Murdering Emerita Romero

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Saipan –  Joseph Crisostomo was found guilty of kidnapping, raping, killing, and robbing bartender Emerita Romero by a Superior Court jury yesterday in the CNMI.

The 40-year-old was found guilty on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual assault in the first-degree, and robbery. Sentencing will be on May 28.

First-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment; sexual assault in the first degree, 30 years; kidnapping with injuries, 30 years; robbery with injuries, 20 years; assault and battery, one year; and disturbing the peace, six months.

Associate Judge Joseph Camacho, who presided over the trial, said among the evidence that proved Crisostomo’s guilt is he drove a rental car and transported Romero, his DNA was present in Romero’s vaginal swabs, and the footprints found at La Fiesta Mall that matched Crisostomo’s barefoot prints.

Romero was last seen boarding a car near her house in Garapan in the early morning of Feb. 5, 2012. Two days later, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found her body in a small room at an abandoned La Fiesta Mall in San Roque/As Matuis. Autopsy showed she was beaten up and strangled to death with a pair of leggings.