By Jacob Nakamura
Larry Rupley may get some justice, after all. The former police officer accused of raping him as a boy may soon be indicted.
It's been a long time since he was the little boy who, according to his criminal complaint to the Guam Police Department, was forcibly raped by then-rookie police officer Albert J. "AJ" Balajadia in the 1980s.
The former statute of limitations on rape (which applies in Balajadia's case because of the date the alleged rape happened) prevents his prosecution on that charge. However, because Mr. Balajadia was a government employee until October last year, he can still be tried for misconduct for committing a crime while he was in public service:
"[A] prosecution may be commenced against a public officer or employee or any person acting in complicity with such public officer or employee for any offense based upon misconduct in office by such public officer or employee at any time while such public officer or employee continues in public office or employment or within three (3) years thereafter." - Guam statute of limitations on Time of Commencing Criminal Actions (8GCA Chapter 10), §10.40 Exception for Public Officers
Mr. Rupley cited this law in his criminal complaint against Mr. Balajadia, which he filed last year. In it, he detailed the gruesome events of the day he alleges Mr. Balajadia pulled down his shorts, stuck a sock in his mouth, and raped him anally.
"He was in his Guam Police uniform," Mr. Rupley said. The man, now in his 40s and living in the mainland United States, began to seek justice four years ago, when he moved back to Guam and noticed campaign signs for Balajadia. Balajadia was a Republican candidate for senator at the time.
He approached officials from the Calvo governor's office and the Republican Party of Guam and told his story. He even met with Balajadia at an attempt for closure. Every door was shut in his face. No one did anything. Even the chief of police at the time - Joseph I. Cruz (ironically now a Republican candidate for senator) - knew about the rape complaint against his colleague Balajadia, and did nothing about it.
This time around - under a new administration and with a new chief of police - Mr. Rupley is being heard.
Saturday night, a police detective confirmed to Mr. Rupley:
"The Guam Police Department has completed the investigation and it has been sent to the Office of the Attorney General for their disposition and possible indictment." - GPD email to Larry Rupley
This means, that in the course of investigating Mr. Rupley's allegations against Mr. Balajadia, detectives found evidence and analyzed testimony leading them to believe and be able to substantiate that the crime occurred.
The matter of bringing charges against Mr. Balajadia now rests with prosecutors at the AG's office.
"Prosecution will conduct its review and make a determination based on the facts and evidence made available in the police report," AG's spokeswoman Carlina Charfauros told Kandit regarding this case.
The determination of whether to seek a Grand Jury indictment rests on the prosecutor's belief that, based on the facts and evidence of the case, the case can be won in court.
Hundreds of men and women, who have sued the Catholic Church and others for rape that occurred over the last seven decades within the Archdiocese will be watching this case intently. Mr. Rupley gets a shot at justice that others, who were hurt by the cover up of the church, will never have - the possibility that he will face his alleged rapist at a trial to hold him accountable for his crimes.
The irony is that the only reason this is possible is because Mr. Balajadia remained in the police force and as a government employee for as long as he did; otherwise, the criminal statute of limitations would have buried this story underneath a miscarriage of justice.