National News

Judge accused of sexual harassment withdraws appeal

Posted October 2

— A Rhode Island judge accused of sexual harassment and judicial misconduct has withdrawn his appeal of a commission's recommendation to remove him from the bench.

WJAR-TV reports District Court Judge Rafael Ovalles' withdrawal follows his decision to resign last week. Ovalles' resignation is effective Oct. 31.

A commission report found that Ovalles had degraded women, mistreated court staff, lawyers and the public and napped on the job.

Ovalles has denied the allegations but said in his resignation letter that his "ability to serve effectively has been compromised as a result of the disciplinary complaints" filed against him.

Ovalles has a pending defamation lawsuit against WJAR-TV reporter Parker Gavigan, WJAR-TV and the station's parent company, Sinclair. WJAR-TV and Sinclair claim in a countersuit that Ovalles abused the state's judicial investigation process.

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