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Sexual harassment case against Rhode Island court procedure

PROVIDENCE, R. I. – A Rhode Island district court judge is scheduled to go before a member of the commission next month who is looking for sexual harassment and judicial misconduct complaints against him.

The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2htQWRI ) that more than 50 witnesses are expected to testify on the charges alleging the Judge Rafael Ovalles mistreated court staff, lawyers and the public, and aborted women.

Ovalles denies the allegations and sets the complaints were filed against him in retaliation.

The procedure for the Rhode Island Commission on Judicial appointment and Discipline are to begin Jan. 23.

The commission will make a recommendation to the state Supreme Court after the hearing.

District court chief judge Jeanne LaFazia has excused 52-year-old Ovalles of all judicial duties with pay, pending the outcome of the hearing.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com

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