By Troy Torres
(Tumon, Guam) Larry Rupley met with the head of the Guam Republican Party's 2016 election campaign regarding then-senatorial candidate Albert J. "AJ" Balajadia, and was assured that then-Gov. Eddie Calvo, then-Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio, then-Republican Leader Tony Ada, and the officers of the Republican Party all were aware that Balajadia raped Mr. Rupley as a child.
Kandit last night aired our interview with Mr. Rupley, where he described in painstaking, heartwrenching detail the day in 1985, when then-rookie cop Balajadia shoved a sock in Mr. Rupley's mouth and raped him. Mr. Rupley was only 11 years old. We also published last night the first in this series of stories regarding Mr. Rupley's triumph over evil and his journey to help other survivors of rape to come forward and tell their stories.
But it was in May 2019, when Kandit first reported on Balajadia's crimes. Mr. Rupley at the time was not prepared to come forward in public, but did ask us to begin investigating, since he no longer lives on Guam. He moved away from the island in 1999, when Balajadia became a public figure as police spokesman. In 2016 he returned to find that Balajadia was a Republican candidate for senator in the primary election.
That was when he decided to say something to people who he thought could help bring justice to rape survivors and to himself.
Through a politically-connected intermediary, Mr. Rupley sought out the assistance of the Republican Party of Guam, and of the island's Republican governor, lieutenant governor, and legislative Republican Leader. He met first with Balajadia, who told Mr. Rupley, "I don't recall doing that to you, but if I did I'm very sorry."
Mr. Rupley then met with John Mafnas, who was in charge of the Republican election campaign that year. Mr. Mafnas told Mr. Rupley that Mr. Calvo, Mr. Tenorio, and Mr. Ada all were aware of the issue.
I can substantiate this fact, because I was the one who told Gov. Calvo about the issue, when the intermediary called me to seek the governor's assistance.
Th island's governor and lieutenant governor, and the Legislature's Republican leader at the time did nothing to help Mr. Rupley. More importantly, the governor and the lieutenant governor, who was in charge of public safety at the time, neglected to forward Mr. Rupley's report to the Guam Police Department or to the Attorney General's Office when they found out. In stark contrast, the island's two top leaders decided instead to endorse Balajadia's run for senator and to help him with his campaign, knowing the allegations from Mr. Rupley.
In an interview with Kandit Thursday afternoon, Mr. Rupley did not mince any words about the Republican leaderships's knowledge of his story in 2016 or of his suspicion that Republicans covered up the issue. "Absolutely, I believe it was covered up," Mr. Rupley said.
Watch the interview below to hear more about that 2016 meeting, who was involved, and what was done.