One month ago, the Supreme Court of Guam issued a ruling regarding a man who has been serving time since 2015 for crimes allegedly committed when he was about 13 or 14 years old.
Guam – Eugene Gomia was alleged to have committed the crime when he was around 13 or 14 years old. According to court documents, there are two victims. Both were under the age of 14 at the time of the incident.
While Gomia was not tried in juvenile court, he was indicted by a Superior Court grand jury at the age of 19 on two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct. Gomia pleaded no contest and reserved his right to appeal.
He was sentenced to five years behind bars in 2015. In November, the Supreme Court made the determination that the trial court did not have proper jurisdiction over the charged offenses against Gomia. His conviction was reversed and judgment vacated, however, he has remained incarcerated, until today.
In court today, the government opposed his release citing that the crimes committed were against minors. Gomia’s attorney however argued, ” the Supreme Court issued a ruling that he is not guilty, and overturned his conviction.” Further stating, “they realized he may be sitting in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, there are two mistakes that can be made, releasing a guilty person or incarcerating an innocent person.”
Judge Arthur Barcinas in response granted Gomia’s release on personal recognizance, placing him under house arrest and under the monitoring of a third party custodian. As part of the release conditions, Gomia is not to have contact with minors, as part of this Judge Barcinas instructed Gomia’s mother and brother to ensure that no minors are present in their home.
Judge Barcinas also addressed the victim’s mother stating, “its not an easy decision but we have to take into account what the Supreme Court says.”
The next hearing is scheduled for January 9, 2018.