Mariana Islands Firefighter Charged With Sexually Assaulting Colleague

A firefighter in the Mariana Islands is facing criminal charges for sexually assaulting a female colleague at work.

Peter Litulumar, 45, is facing second degree sexual assault charges arising out of an incident on April 5, 2021 where he came to work drunk and grabbed her buttocks while she was taking a nap. The pair were assigned to work at a quarantine center for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

According to the Saipan Tribune, Litulumar was scolded at his bail hearing by Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho for “making jokes” and “not taking the matter seriously” after asking the court to find him “the cheapest lawyer.” He was not able to make bail and was held by the Department of Corrections.

According to Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Commissioner Dennis Mendiola, Litulumar will be terminated if found guilty. The Tribune quoted Mendiola as saying:

  • “We don’t condone any sexual mistreatment of any employee, male or female. We take this case seriously and, depending on what comes out of the investigation and if found in violation, then we’re going to take further action, and I can assure you that it’ll be termination. We’re going to continue to advocate for victims and make sure that they get their due process. That’s pretty much my policy. We won’t accept [this] in the department.”
  • “Sometimes it just starts off with just the guys and gals joking around. It’s the routine in the workplace but then there’s that line where we don’t cross. So I think we need to go back and get some training just so that everybody can understand what’s that line like, and it is unacceptable to cross this line. As soon as [we] get confirmation dates, the entire department is going to go through that training again.”
  • “Currently we already transferred the lady to a different division. Likewise, the individual will be transferred to administrative duties pending adverse action, so they won’t come across each other. We can’t just jump the gun and take action and then we have to backpedal. So, again, we’re waiting on that investigation to the conclude.”

The Northern Mariana Islands are a US commonwealth territory. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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