OAG claims evidence of other crimes


The Office of the Attorney General has informed judge pro tem Alberto Tolentino of the Superior Court that it intends to offer evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during his trial, which is set to start on July 5.

In the notice filed by OAG chief solicitor Robert Glass last Friday, he said the evidence he intends to introduce at trial will show proof of Torres’ intent, motive, knowledge of the crimes he allegedly committed.

Torres is charged with 12 counts of misconduct in public office, as well as one count of theft. These charges stem from Torres’ alleged premium class travel using Commonwealth local funds for himself and Diann T. Torres.

“The Commonwealth hereby gives notice to the court and to counsel for the defense that the Commonwealth intends to offer evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts at the trial. This notice is given pursuant to Rule 404(b) of the NMI Rules of Evidence. The proposed 404(b) evidence will show the defendant’s intent, motive, opportunity, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, and/or absence of mistake or accident for the alleged criminal actions occurring in this criminal case,” he said.

According to Glass, although the current criminal case against Torres is focused on the illegal premium class travel tickets purchased through local funds back in 2018, Torres has allegedly flown first class, paid for by local funds, prior to the dates in question.

Glass said he intends to introduce Travel Authorizations and related documents from 2015, 2016, and 2017.

It is alleged that Torres traveled first class in 2015 to the second Annual Commonwealth Covenant Day event in San Diego and to attend and witness the M/V Luta cargo vessel departing from Louisiana to the CNMI, the National Governors’ Association 2016 Winter Meeting, the 2016 Senior Plenary Session of the Interagency Group on Insular Areas, the 35th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting, to meet with Department of Homeland Security officials, and Insular Affairs officials.

In 2016, Torres also allegedly traveled first class to Hawaii to meet with Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Lt. Gen. Crutchfield and to meet with Hawaii liaison and to attend the 2016 Flag Day celebration of American-Samoa.

Then, in 2017, Torres and the first lady allegedly travelled first class to meet with officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife on the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in Portland, Oregon, and to attend the 2017 Western Governors’ Association in Whitefish, Montana.

“The evidence sought to be introduced shows that defendant on other occasions prior to 2018 allegedly traveled on premium class airfare tickets. This establishes defendant’s knowledge, plan, preparation, and intent as well as absence of mistake or accident,” said Glass.

Glass added that in this criminal case, he has the burden of proving that Torres caused the issuance of premium class airfare through Commonwealth funds and the documents he proposes to introduce at trial establish that Torres had done this on prior occasions, which shows that he was aware of what would happen by continuing to request premium air travel.

“It shows his intent because defendant was allegedly traveling in premium class before the current criminal case. These documents become especially pertinent in rebuttal if defendant asserts a defense that he was provided with legal advice in 2018 regarding his premium class travels, as it shows that prior to 2018 and the establishment of the travel steering committee, defendant was traveling on premium class airfare tickets,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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