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Former officer convicted of assault

March 9, 2013
The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A former Pearl Harbor base police officer whose murder conviction in the disappearance of a 19-year-old man was overturned has been convicted of felony assault as part of a plea deal stemming from the 1992 case.

Jenaro Torres, 64, entered a no contest plea Thursday and agreed to the maximum prison term for first-degree assault. Defense attorney Emmanuel Guerrero said Torres pleaded no contest to end the case.

State Circuit Judge Michael Wilson sentenced Torres to 10 years in prison, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The judge ordered Torres to spend at least five years behind bars. The requirement before eligibility for parole was added, the judge said, because Torres committed the crime while possessing a gun, threatening its use or using it during the crime.

Torres has been imprisoned for seven years, and that time will be counted toward his sentence. The Hawaii Paroling Authority can require more time served.

Torres was charged in the disappearance of Ruben Gallegos as Gallegos was assigned to cash checks at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base Exchange.

Gallegos disappeared May 1, 1992. He was last reported seen being escorted from his cashier's cage by Torres.

The officer was in uniform but off-duty at the time.

State Attorney General David Louie said in a statement that the plea agreement was reasonable. Three key witnesses in the case have died, he said.

Torres maintains he did not kill Gallegos.



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