Palau Senator Hokkons Baules found himself today Friday, online June 8, this 2012 in Court for his sentencing on charges stemming from criminal assault and battery, verbal assault and sexual assault, including unwanted touching of his female employees at Fuji Restaurant.
His criminal conduct is said to have begun as far back as 2006 and went on for years. Six former employees told Judge Foster at the sentencing hearing, some in open court and others through written statements, of the suffering they endured while working for Senator Baules.
Senator Baules’ private attorney from Guam told the Court that the Senator was prepared to immediately undergo anger management and sexual harassment treatment. Senator Baules spoke on his own behalf admitting to wrongdoing, but also telling Judge Foster that he “loved” his employees. He also submitted a written statement to the press that his behavior toward foreign workers in Palau “fell short” of what they deserved and that he hopes that his case serves as a reminder to other employers to treat foreign workers properly.
Assistant Attorney General Roe asked the Court to impose 90 days of jail while the Defendant asked the Judge to suspend the jail sentence. Judge Foster imposed 90 days of incarceration with the remaining 3 years suspended. Senator Baules will report to jail on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 6pm. He will not be part of the work release program. He must also abide by other conditions of release such as enrolling in sex harassment and anger management counseling, have no contact with the victims, write a written statement of apology to all 7 victims, pay fines and restitution and be on probation for 2 years and 9 months following his release from Jail.
After the hearing, AG Roe told OTV that she felt this was a “fair result” and that it was important that the victims were heard. OTV contacted Senator Baules following his court appearance, but he declined to comment.
How his incarceration will effect his duties as a sitting Senator remains an open question.