SC dismisses Naga City judge facing sexual abuse charges

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2021 01:07 PM

MANILA— The Supreme Court has dismissed a Regional Trial Court judge in Naga City, Camarines Sur after being found guilty of grave misconduct following allegations of rape and acts of lasciviousness, a court ruling released on Saturday showed. 

Naga City Judge Jaime Contreras, who was dismissed in December last year, was also slapped with 3 counts of criminal charges for rape and attempted rape, and 8 counts of acts of lasciviousness and violation of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Child Abuse Law. 

The judge will be disbarred, the court said. All of his benefits, except for his leave credits, will also be forfeited following the decision, and the disgraced judge is banned from being employed in any public office. 

The high court said the complainant was first molested in 1994, and the abuse later got "worse and became more frequent." Ten years later, Contreras reportedly brought the victim to a motel and raped her. 

"This supposedly happened several times. The respondent judge even took naked pictures of the victim using his cellular phone, and threatened that he would spread her naked photos if she disclosed his transgressions to anyone," the document read. 

When the photos got leaked in July 2014, the victim filed charges against the judge. 

According to the ruling, Contreras has "evaded arrest for several years now" even while there are standing warrants against him. 

"The Court held that a judge who deliberately and continuouslyfails and refuses to comply with lawful orders or resolutions isguilty of grave misconduct," it added.

“We find that respondent’s refusal to follow lawful orders andevasion of arrest are glaring proofs of his disinterest to remain inthe Judiciary,” the Court en Banc said in its decision. 

Aside from this, Contreras also had an administrative offense in 2016 for dishonesty. 

The Supreme Court Public Information Office said when he was applying as a judge, Contreras failed to reveal in his personal data sheet that he was charged by the Ombudsman for simple misconduct. 

— with reports from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

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