3 bills filed to address sex crimes on Guam

Newly elected Speaker of the 35th Guam Legislature Tina Rose Muna Barnes, pictured during her keynote at the Guam Congress Building on inauguration day, Monday, January 7, 2019.

Guam – Three bills have been introduced in the legislature, seeking to combat the rising number of criminal sexual assault cases on Guam.

Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’ Bill 50-35 would address “teen love” and what happens when a relationship that begins in high school continues after one partner reaches the adult age. “Lovers in high school should not become felons and put on a sex-offender registry” Muna Barnes said.

When Muna Barnes introduced the safety valve bill two terms ago, she included a provision stating that the safety valve element would not apply to criminal sex conduct. It was removed on the floor.

“Children are the most vulnerable victims in the community and deserve the utmost protection. This statutory amendment serves to deter sexual predators from targeting these vulnerable victims and sends a message to these predators that the consequences of their actions will be severe. If you commit a sex crime against a minor, I want it to be clear, that there is no way to get out of it,” said Speaker Barnes.

The speaker’s second Bill No.51-35 would prohibit judges from applying the existing safety valve law on any case that involves the criminal sexual conduct of a minor.
Meanwhile, Sen. “Pedo” Terlaje’s Bill 52-50 creates mandatory minimum sentences for repeat sex offenders.

“Protecting those most vulnerable in our community, our Women and Children is a top priority of mine,” said Terlaje. “I want to thank my colleagues and the Office of the Attorney General of Guam for collaborating with me on this measure that we believe will act as a deterrent to repeat offenders of criminal sexual conduct.”

All three measures were co-sponsored by Sen. Régine Biscoe Lee and Sen. Amanda Shelton.

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Jolene Toves
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.