Court clerk terminated for not scheduling rape trial - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Court clerk terminated for not scheduling rape trial

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While one accused rapist made a run for it and managed to escape from prison grounds last week, another defendant also charged with rape was released late last month - not because he could jump the prison fence, but because an oversight at the court level resulted in the violation of the defendant's constitutional rights prompting his release. A court administrative investigation was completed this week - the findings resulted in the termination of a court employee.

You may remember his face. For nearly two months, he was wanted by authorities for allegedly raping two minor girls. When he was finally picked up by federal and local law enforcement back in February however, James Nicholas Corpuz was released shortly after.

Why?

Because his constitutional rights were violated when Corpuz asserted his right to a speedy trial and his hearings never scheduled, nor did they appear on the court calendar. Although he's back in custody and just yesterday answered to the charges again, Judiciary of Guam administrator of the courts Joshua Tenorio says the oversight didn't go unnoticed by court management. "We completed an administrative investigation that was initiated as a result of a speedy trial violation in the James Corpuz case. As you know the speedy trial violation was caused by the lack of the court scheduling the, trial which was a speedy trial that was asserted by the defendant."

The investigation findings were enough to justify a court clerk's termination earlier this week.

"The termination was on Tuesday. About a ten-day investigation, including the oral and written statements by court employees and extensive review of the court record," said Tenorio. "This employee has the ultimate responsibility for doing this and because there wasn't a reasonable or justifiable explanation, the court and the management of the courts has chosen to terminate the employee."

The termination, Tenorio hopes, will speak volumes to the community. "This matter is very serious. It undermines the confidence that the people have with the court and the steps that we've taken are to assure the public that when the court makes an error that the error will be corrected and appropriate action will be taken," he said.

Corpuz pleaded not guilty to the charges again. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 2.

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