Sex assault conviction overturned for ex-DOC officer

SAN NICOLAS: Former Department of Corrections officer Jerome Taimanglo San Nicolas gives a thumbs-up after walking out of Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola's courtroom following a hearing in December 2019. San Nicolas has repeatedly tested positive for meth use and pleaded guilty to charges against him in a prison contraband scheme. A sexual assault conviction against San Nicolas was overturned by the Guam Supreme Court. Post file photo

A former Department of Corrections officer who was convicted for molesting an underage girl in January 2018 won his appeal in the Supreme Court of Guam.

The high court on Friday overturned the fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct conviction against Jerome Taimanglo San Nicolas.

According to court documents, San Nicolas allegedly molested a 15-year-old girl known to him.

San Nicolas was sentenced to six months in prison. However, he appealed his conviction, arguing that his rights were violated.

San Nicolas contends the lower court prevented him from cross-examining his accuser regarding a prior allegation of criminal sexual conduct made against another person. The accuser apparently recanted the allegations in that separate case.

The justices concluded that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding the cross-examination testimony and that the error prejudiced San Nicolas because he was prevented from challenging the credibility of his accuser.

San Nicolas was granted a new trial in the Superior Court of Guam.

The former corrections officer had also pleaded guilty in January to his part in a major prison contraband scheme uncovered in 2017 at DOC.

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