Torres summoned to court; Guam judge to handle case

Posted on Apr 14 2022


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has been summoned to an arraignment hearing on April 25 at the CNMI Superior Court in connection with the case the Office of the Attorney General filed against him for alleged misconduct, theft, and contempt.

During the hearing, Torres will plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against him. Torres will be represented in court by Viola Alepuyo, and Anthony H. Aguon.

The Superior Court clerk of courts first scheduled Torres’ arraignment hearing on Monday, April 18, at 9am, but this was later rescheduled to April 25, also at 9am, by judge Alberto E. Tolentino of the Guam Superior Court, who was appointed judge pro tempore to handle the case.


If Torres does not appear on the arranged date, an application may be made for the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

The criminal case against Torres was filed by assistant attorney general Robert Glass last Friday, alleging 12 counts of misconduct in public office and one count of theft relating to the issuance of airline tickets for business class, first class, or other premium class travel for himself and/or first lady Diann T. Torres. The case also alleges one count of contempt for failure to appear in compliance with a subpoena.

Matters of a similar nature are also the subject of an impeachment complaint that the CNMI House of Representatives has submitted to the CNMI Senate. The House has already impeached Torres and the Senate is now set to conduct a trial in the matter. If the impeachment matter prevails, Torres could be ousted from his post.

As for the OAG complaint against Torres, the first two counts of misconduct in public office go back to April 12, 2018, when Torres allegedly issued himself and his wife first-class airline tickets paid for by local funds. 

Torres allegedly repeated these violations on June 8, July 11, Aug. 13, Aug. 16, Sept. 25, Nov. 15, Nov. 27, and Dec. 18, 2018, making up the remaining 10 counts of misconduct in public office. 

Aside from 12 counts of misconduct, the OAG also charged Torres with theft for the same violations. 

Lastly, the OAG is accusing Torres of contempt for his failure to comply with the House Committee on Judiciary & Governmental Operations’ subpoena on Dec. 10, 2021. Torres has already filed suit to contest the power of the committee to subpoena him. A decision in the matter is expected soon.

Following the criminal charge filed against Torres, five Superior Court judges have recused themselves from hearing the criminal case.

Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja, and associate judges Joseph Camacho, Kenneth Govendo, Teresa Kim-Tenorio, and Wesley Bogdan all issued orders of recusal on Monday, leading to Monday’s appointment of Tolentino to sit on the Commonwealth Superior Court in this matter.

“A party shall file a motion to disqualify within 10 days from the date of the order should they believe that reasonable grounds exist for the judge pro tempore to be disqualified. Unless the motion to disqualify is granted, judge pro tempore Alberto E. Tolentino shall have full authority in this matter and shall carry out the duties and powers inherent with the appointment,” said Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro in his order of appointment.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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