Guam – It’s been nearly a week since Sterling Crisostomo was accused of starving his children, locking them up inside their home and forcing them to urinate in cups and he’s still nowhere to be found. A summons was issued for him to appear in court, but that date is still 10 days away.
Leialoha Crisostomo and her husband Sterling Crisostomo were charged on August 31st with child abuse as a third degree felony. But only Leialoha was arrested and appeared in court. It’s been nearly a week and Sterling still has not been found and there have been no wanted posters or announcements for his arrest or questioning.
At this point, only a summons has been issued for Sterling to appear in court. Court Spokesman Josh Tenorio says acting Magistrate Judge James Canto signed the summons yesterday, but it’s not clear why a summons and not an arrest warrant was requested. Tenorio says the agency that makes that determination is the Attorney General’s Office.
“There haven’t been any warrants that have been filed at the court for the arrest of the individual. All of those decisions have to be made in compliance with statute and charging parties or the arresting agents,” says Tenorio.
But a summons has its limitations. The Marshal’s Division only has the authority to serve the summons on Sterling. After that, it’s up to the defendant to appear in court. In this case, the summons was set for September 15, or in 10 days. Attorney General Spokesperson Carlina Charfauros tells PNC that by law, there can only be either a warrant or a summons, not both. And because Crisostomo has already been charged even though he’s not in custody, only a summons was sought.
Tenorio says that as of today, the summons had not yet been served on Sterling Crisostomo.
However, Guam Police Department Spokesman Officer AJ Balajadia clarified that GPD is still actively investigating the case, which means, while the Marshal’s can’t arrest Sterling Crisostomo, GPD has that power.
“I have to tell you not only are our detectives looking for Mr. Crisostomo but the Criminal Justice Strike Force is also looking for him, short of knocking on doors. We are aware that he was wanted for questioning in regards to this case. So if we do come across Mr. Crisostomo he will be pulled in and he will be questioned in regards to the case,” Balajadia explains.
Balajadia adds that only after detectives have finished questioning Sterling will they determine whether or not to place him under arrest.
Meanwhile, both GPD and the AG’s Office emphasized that while Sterling is out free, his children are safe.
“Even though Mr. Crisostomo is still not arrested or still not in our custody there’s no immedate threat or danger to those children. They are safe, they’re with Child Protective Services, so that threat has been eliminated as far as the abuse and the allegations made against Mr. Crisostomo,” he points out.