Superior Court Judge Vernon P. Perez
A Superior Court jury found University of Guam professor, Dr. Michael Ehlert, guilty on two of three criminal sexual conduct charges.
The charges stemmed from incidents at Dr. Ehlert's Ipan Talofofo home in 2014.
Specifically, Ehlert was found guilty of attempted third degree criminal sexual conduct and guilty of third degree sexual conduct.
The victims were named only by initials, but were present in court.
Prosecutor Matthew Heibel said Ehlert faces up to 16 years behind bars. "So each count is one to eight years," he said. Ehlert's sentencing is set for October 4 and he'll remain under house arrest until then.
Prosecutor Heibel praised the victims who came forward:
“On behalf of the Attorney General and our whole office, I would like to wholeheartedly thank the victims in this case. Their courage in reporting these sexual assaults and their fortitude to see this matter through to trial is both commendable and inspiring. They will always have our gratitude. I would also like to thank the jury for performing its service. Being a juror is a very difficult task. This was a long, hard fought case, and throughout the trial the jurors were committed to their duties of fairness, attentiveness, and impartiality.”
University of Guam President Dr. Robert Underwood echoed Heibel's sentiments in a UOG news release:
The University of Guam lauds the bravery and honesty of the women who came forward in this difficult and painful case. This took a tremendous amount of courage and serves as an example for those who have experienced sexual misconduct. Their voices are powerful and transformative.
“The University behaved responsibly and in accordance with its core values,” said Dr. Robert Underwood, UOG President. “But the courage of these women teaches all of us a lesson.”
The University fully cooperated with law enforcement and the Attorney General’s office as they conducted their investigations.
In 2016, the University updated its sexual misconduct policy to be more clear. Any form of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated within the UOG community. The University urges its students, employees, and the community to report, to intervene, and to advocate for those who have experienced sexual misconduct.