Warren Peter Diego was a registered sex offender for crimes in Oklahoma when he was tried for another sexual offense on Guam back in 2013.
Guam – If someone is found guilty in another state of a crime that isn’t recognized on Guam, is that prior conviction admissible as evidence for cases on Guam? That seemed to be the focus of the appeal in the case of Warren Diego’s appeal in the Supreme Court of Guam today.
Warren Peter Diego, now 46 years old, was convicted in September 2013 of second degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse. Diego’s victim, back in May 2012, was only 11 years old at the time Diego fondled her.
‘Warren Diego was accused of second degree criminal sexual conduct and child abuse and there’s no physical evidence of any crimes that were presented to the jury,” points out Diego’s legal counsel Attorney Randy Cunliffe.
What was presented to the jury was the witness testimony of the victim and another piece of evidence Attorney Randy Cunliffe believes should never have been used as evidence at all.
“I think clearly it was intended by what’s been passed in this jurisdiction that what you do in another jurisdiction has to fit under our criminal statutes to become admissible,” argues Cunliffe. “And the government admits that there are crimes under the Oklahoma statute which aren’t crimes on Guam.”
Diego was previously convicted in Oklahoma of Lewd Molestation, which in Oklahoma could include merely looking at a minor in a lewd or lascivious manner. The problem is, when the evidence was introduced during Diego’s trial on Guam, it was unclear as to exactly what he committed since the Oklahoma statute covers a wide range of sexual acts.
“All we have here is a statute that says he was convicted of this statue but we don’t know what he did,” Cunliffe says.
“I still don’t understand why 8901c [Guam law] would not then make that a criminal sexual conduct violation in Guam,” questioned Associate Justice Phillip Carbullido.
“Well my reading of the law is that you have to show that what they did in the other jurisdiction is also a crime in Guam,” Cunliffe responded.
“So you don’t believe the testimony of the victim alone can stand to support the crime?” Associate Katherine Maraman then asked.
“Would the jury have convicted him based upon just what she said? I can’t answer that question. I mean, you’re really speculating as to what the jury would or would not find if it didn’t have these other information in its head,” Cunliffe responded.
“So but you feel that’s the only evidence that should have been before the jury is the that victim’s testimony?” Maraman followed up.
The justices have taken the appeal under advisement.