Santos to appeal case of man found guilty of assault

Peter Santos

Attorney Peter Santos is going to appeal the case of Ben Crisostomo, a man who was found guilty for assault, family violence and terrorizing.

Santos claims the jury convicted Crisostomo on emotion and speculation.

Peter Santos, the defense attorney of Ben Crisostomo, said they will appeal his case based on prosecutorial misconduct.

Crisostomo was convicted on April 25 for aggravated assault, terrorizing, child abuse and family violence and now faces a potential prison sentence of about 12 years.

However, during an interview on Newstalk K57 with Patti Arroyo, Santos alleged the jury acted on emotion and speculation, as there was no factual evidence presented by Acting Chief Prosecutor Grant Olan.

“That’s all that was presented, really, was speculation and suspicion because there was no evidence to support anything that she (the victim) was saying other than her very inconsistent statements and her very contradictory statements,” said Santos.

The Defense Attorney said that on repeated occasions, the prosecutor attempted to get inadmissible evidence into court that would also cause suspicion and speculation, to which he objected.

Adding that there’s a jury instruction that says “you’re not to convict anyone on mere speculation and suspicion”, but he claimed all the evidence presented was based on that.

Santos also accused the prosecutor of vouching, which is defined as an act by an attorney or judge in the presence of a jury, giving a guarantee, supporting a case or witness as being reliable and true.

“The problem with this case Patti is that despite all the information and the evidence, if someone get on the witness stand and cries, you know a jury can feel sorry for her,” he said. “It was a he said, she said because there’s no physical evidence to support what she was alleging and there was no eye witnesses.”

According to Santos, despite all the information and evidence presented by defense, the jury might have felt sorry for the accuser resulting in Crisostomo’s conviction.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan issued a statement to the Pacific News Center, responding to Santos’ plan to appeal.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan talks with the Pacific News Center on April 24 at his office in Tamuning. Photo by PNC’s Leo Hsu

He said, “The defendant could appeal but must state grounds of appeal. I believe the OAG properly prosecuted the case and protected the victims of the crime, which is my responsibility as attorney general.”