Sterling Crisostomo was arrested eight days after he was released from prison. Police say they found Crisostomo back at home with his children despite a stay away order.
Guam – A concerned resident with law enforcement background is speaking out, questioning the justice system after Sterling Crisostomo, a father convicted of child abuse was released from prison twice and twice was alleged to have violated his court order by terrorizing his minor children.
“What I don’t understand is the system. Why did they release this guy?”
John Mantanona is a retired police officer and is now working as a private investigator for Attorney David Lujan. He came to PNC to speak out about a recent incident involving Sterling Crisostomo. Back in August of 2014, Crisostomo and his wife Leialoha were arrested for child abuse.
Crisostomo was accused of boarding up his home and starving his children. About 9 months later, Crisostomo signed a plea agreement, pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to five years but the sentence was suspended, which meant that he would only serve it if he violated conditions of his plea agreement.
“This guy has five children and only five years they gave him on a plea deal. I just don’t understand the system,” notes Mantanonga, pointing out that even though he was sentenced to five years, his sentenced was also suspended.
Then in December last year, about seven months after Crisostomo was released, he was picked up again for boarding up his children in their home. The judge placed him on $2,000 cash bail. He remained in prison until April 21st when Crisostomo entered yet another plea deal. For that case he was released the very same day.
But Manglona questions whether Crisostomo should have been released on April 21st since he clearly admitted to committing a crime back in December while on probation from the 2014 misdemeanor case.
So if he violated the terms of his first plea agreement, why was he released last month?
“This guy deserves life to satisfy the children’s safety,” says Mantanona.
Eight days after Crisostomo was released, on April 29, he was arrested once again. Mantanona says he’s the one who reported Crisostomo to police last week.
Mantanona says he learned about Crisostomo through a family member who asked for help because Crisostomo was back at home.
Mantanona alleges that Child Protective Services was informed but Mantanona is questioning why CPS never contacted police.
“What I don’t understand is when CPS knocked on the door … Sterling was the one that opened the door. He’s there,” argues Mantanona. “My question is why didn’t he detain [Crisostomo] and call the police?”
Mantanona says he contacted the Probation Office, but they wanted him to fill out a declaration before taking any action. So instead, Manglona went straight to the police.
“I said, ‘Captain Kim, can you help me because if nobody can help me I’m gonna go alone and I don’t care whether they arrest me but I will do something bad to that individual just to save the children,'” explains Mantanona.
Not long after informing GPD, Mantanona says the Tumon/Tamuning precinct took action. According to police when they went to the residence they found Crisostomo inside in the presence of his children.
The father of adopted children, Mantanona says he’s extremely empathetic to victims of abuse because his adopted children were once victims of child abuse.
As for Crisostomo’s wife, Mantanona believes she should also be questioned as to why she did not contact authorities to report her husband despite knowing that there was a stay away order in effect.
The Attorney General’s Office and the Superior Court of Guam were unable to provide us with comment as of news time. CPS declined to comment on the matter.
Mantanona says he is willing to help out any victims of abuse, such as children, elderly or those with disabilities free of charge.