Plea deal in the works


Ralph DLG Torres

The Office of the Attorney General has informed Superior Court judge pro tem Alberto Tolentino that it is working on a plea agreement for Gov. Ralph DLG Torres in the suit alleging misconduct in public office over premium class travel, and theft.

During a status conference last Tuesday, OAG Chief Solicitor Robert Glass informed the court that he is currently working on plea agreement for Torres.

“I’m actually working on [a plea agreement]. I do plan on submitting the plea agreement hopefully this week or next week and we can go from there,” Glass said.

Meanwhile, Torres’ lawyer, Victorino Torres, raised some concerns with Tolentino, stating that, with the numerous motions pending with the court and now a possible plea agreement underway, the trial setting hearing on July 5 is not realistic.

After further discussing the matter, Tolentino ordered that the trial scheduling conference set for July 5 be taken off calendar. However, the hearing on all motions presently filed is still set for June 30 at 9am and a status conference will be set seven days after the court has rendered its decision and order on the motions.

Because the court has to rule on over 11 different motions and responses, Tolentino also requested the parties to identify which motions will proceed with oral arguments.

Victorino Torres informed the court that he would give notice by June 23 on which motions the defense is willing to waive oral arguments.

One of the motions the court is set to hear is the motion on an expanded jury pool, dismissal of the OAG as a prosecutor in this case, the OAG’s intent on introducing evidence of additional crimes Torres allegedly committed, and more.

Last June 3, Glass filed a notice with the court stating that he intends to introduce certain uncharged conduct of Torres at trial pursuant to Rule 404(b) of the NMI Rules of Evidence. In the notice, Glass said the evidence he intends to introduce will show proof of Torres’ intent, motive, and knowledge of the crimes he allegedly committed.

However, according to an opposition filed by Torres’ team of lawyers, the Commonwealth has not met its burden of proof to establish any basis for admitting each “other act” evidence under Rule 404(b) and has not met its burden of proof that the noticed evidence is relevant and not prejudicial.

Back in April 8, 2022, the Office of the Attorney General filed criminal charges against Torres alleging 12 counts of misconduct in public office and one count of theft relating to the issuance of airline tickets for premium class travel for himself and/or first lady Diann T. Torres. The governor was also accused of contempt for failure to appear in compliance with a legislative subpoena.

The jury trial was initially supposed to begin on July 5 but the date has since been vacated.

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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