Chief of Police Stephen Ignacio is as stumped as the next person as to why the Guam Police Department never investigated a criminal complaint of child rape against public school teacher Miles Reyes Washington. And interim superintendent of education Dr. Judith Won Pat, who made the decision to allow Mr. Washington to keep his job as a teacher, still has not replied to the controversy of why he was allowed back into the classroom.
Mr. Washington, an Upi Elementary School teacher, was arrested on February 23, 2023 on allegations he sexually molested three elementary school students at the school on separate occasions between January and February this year. On February 27, Dr. Won Pat issued a statement confirming she detailed Mr. Washington to the GDOE central office. No update has been provided since, including whether that detail has ended and the criminal defendant has been sent back to the classroom.
Dr. Won Pat also has not answered repeated requests for comment as to why GDOE allowed Mr. Washington back into the classroom following a September 25, 2018 criminal complaint against him for allegedly touching a boy’s penis in a school restroom.
Neither Dr. Won Pat nor Mr. Ignacio were in charge of their respective agencies at the time of the 2018 criminal complaint. The superintendent of education at the time was Jon Fernandez. Joseph “JI” Cruz was the chief of police at the time.
“There is no response that could be provided as to why a case in 2018 was not investigated,” police spokeswoman Berlyn Savella told Kandit after meeting with Mr. Ignacio regarding the incident.
The case simply was not investigated.
The response has led to several other questions for which Kandit awaits a response from the police chief, including:
Does this mean that everyone who was involved with that decision no longer works at GPD?
The people who were assigned to this case… are any of them still there?
Will the police chief be opening an investigation into what happened?
Is there a statute of limits to the 2018 case considering the age of the victim and the nature of the crime?
“The facts about this  case occurred under the former AG,” Attorney General Douglas Moylan said. “I am having it carefully reviewed to determine the background facts.”
Mr. Moylan, dubbed “Toughest AG on Crime,” has previously stated his lack of remorse for rapists who prey on children, and his commitment to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
Sen. Chris Barnett, who leads the legislative committee with oversight of both GDOE and GPD has his own questions. The public school parent is incensed about what appears to be a failure of both the criminal justice and education systems to protect child victims.
“It is disappointing and disgusting to know that an investigation into the initial complaint could have prevented any further abuse and assault from happening,” Mr. Barnett said. “Not following up on complaints and not investigating complaints is failing our children and their families, especially because it takes a great deal of courage and strength for victims to come forward.”
“Sometimes sick child predators escape the attention of law enforcement, and that is why we must act urgently to address complaints of this nature when we receive them,” Mr. Barnett said, adding he will be scheduling a hearing this month to get answers from anyone who was or should have been involved in these cases.
All four of the alleged victims were not even 10 years old at the times of the incidents.
According to the February 24, 2023 charging document against Mr. Washington, a nine-year-old boy “told police the defendant touched his private part. When asked what he meant by private part, [he] told police the defendant touched his penis.”
The other two victims, an eight-year-old, and a nine-year-old boy, told police that between January and February, Mr. Washington would follow them into the bathroom at the school and “performed fellatio,” according to the charging document.
“This second allegation came up under my administration and I have my newly-appointed Acting Chief Prosecutor reviewing the evidence to report to me,” Mr. Moylan assures the public. “It is very important that we protect the children and balance this defendant’s right of the presumption of innocence against the dangers posed to the community pre-trial. We also need to consider the quality of the evidence to meet our burden of proof as we move towards trial.”
On March 15, 2023, Magistrate Judge Jonathan Quan allowed Mr. Washington to be set free on pre-trial release on $50,000 personal recognizance bond. He must also wear an ankle monitor, according to the judge’s order of conditional release.
Mr. Moylan vehemently opposes the judicial habit of releasing criminal defendants accused of felonies on personal recognizance bonds, reasoning that such gratuity provides no incentive for the defendant to obey release conditions. He has repeatedly stated this habit continues to place the public at risk of defendants reoffending while on pre-trial release.