Justice Torres under investigation for alleged ethical violations

(PNC photo)

Guam – Justice Robert Torres is being investigated for alleged ethical violations, according to Pacific Judicial Council President Camillo Noket.

“I am aware of the investigation,” Noket said, adding, “I just heard that there is some sexual misconduct and that an investigation is being made.”

Ad the president of PJC, Noket said he is still waiting for the investigation, allegations and any court case, files or information from the Guam Supreme Court.

The Judiciary’s director of policy, planning and community relations Shawn Gumataotao, could not confirm if a complaint was filed. He said all matters related to judicial discipline are confidential and nothing will be public until the end.

Rule 26 of the Guam Rules for Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement applies following complaints filed against a member of the Supreme Court of Guam. Under the rules, a member of the Supreme Court may be placed under interim suspension under certain conditions.

“I am just waiting for any result. It should be coming to PJC and also the Guam Supreme Court and then when I receive that, then we will have a meeting, an executive meeting with the PJC if any investigation comes out,” Noket said.

“The procedure that we have – we need to work with the executive committee of the PJC to review the allegations. As the president I can’t just do it by myself it has to be the executive board members of the PJC,” Noket said.

This is not the first time an ethics complaint has been filed against a member of the bench in Guam

A complaint was filed against retired Judge Steven Unpingco in 2010. The complaint states that evidence exists supporting allegations of misconduct by the former judge.

According to the complaint, Unpingco failed to remain “temperate” and “courteous” in his answers to former airport general manager Gerry Yingling’s motion for recusal in March 2005. The complaint also referred to Unpingco’s 2005 decision in the case of Akimoto vs. Gutierrez.

The “Judicial Discipline Special Court” ordered Unpingco to be disciplined by “public reprimand”. He was also ordered to disseminate the public reprimand within 30-days, “through the same channels as the issuance of Supreme Court opinions.” Also, the court ordered disciplinary counsel to publish the reprimand in a “paper of general circulation on Guam,” within 30-days. Unpingco had to pay the cost of the publication.

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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.