Questions linger about the Mafnas case, parole board under scrutiny

Paul Santos Mafnas targeted minor girls, abducting them from bus stops and raping them. (PNC photo)

Guam – Did convicted sexual offender Paul Santos Mafnas Jr. dupe the system or was the system flawed in this case? Sen. Therese Terlaje is intent on pulling the lid off of the Parole Board to see what led to Mafnas’ early release.

“I was just appalled from the time they were looking for someone for abducting the girl. I’m sure we all shared the same sentiment. It’s like horror. But the more we knew about the case, the worst it got. This case just got worse and worse as heard about it. It’s a nightmare,” Terlaje said.

Wanting to get to the bottom of Mafnas’ case and how sex offenders are dealt with in general, the senator began by reviewing existing laws to answer the question, “Did Mr. Mafnas meet the eligibility requirements for parole and were all of the parole procedures followed prior to his parole being granted?”

Terlaje sent a letter to Attorney General Leevin Camacho requesting assistance in reviewing parole procedures in Mafnas’ 1999 criminal case which stemmed from kidnapping and rape charges in 1996.

Terlaje said she believes a formal review of sentencing parole and treatment guidelines for sex offenders is in order. She is calling on stakeholders for input in hopes of getting to the bottom of whether or not proper procedures were followed in the Mafnas case.

Specifically, she would like to know the following:

1. Did Mafnas complete 85 percent of his fixed sentence to be eligible for parole consideration?
2. Was a parole plan prepared and detailed for his parole desirability hearing?
3. Was a mental health evaluation or other professional evaluation required and provided prior to his parole desirability hearing?

In this recent case, police said that Mafnas admitted that he has an addiction to sexually assaulting young girls – an addiction he is unable to control. At this time, it is unclear if the parole board was aware of this, which may have prevented him from early release.

Terlaje said it was unclear – how much did the parole board hear from Mafnas’ psychiatrist? As to his behavior in prison, he might have been good but did they hear about his ability to abide by the law?

The senator is also asking if the statutes governing standards on parole release were followed and properly documented in this case.

Additionally, has the Attorney General’s office in the past provided training or guidance to the parole board or parole officers as to how to handle sex offenders to ensure public safety?

Terlaje said, “The committee on health, tourism, historic preservation, land, and justice is conducting a formal review of sentencing, parole, and treatment guidelines for sex offenses and asking stakeholders to give input. The committee will be convening a roundtable with stakeholders, including mental health professionals, the Judiciary, parole board, Department of Corrections, prosecution and public defenders to examine the current statutes and processes of parole on May 6th.”

Previous articleCMS accepts hospital’s corrective action plans
Next article3 appointments to the cannabis control board
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.