Thursday, February 19, 2009

Judge in Baron Geisler's harassment case inhibits self

The judge presiding over the harassment case filed by Patrizhia Martinez against actor Baron Geisler has inhibited himself from hearing the case.

In a statement released Friday, Judge Ronald Moreno of the Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 64 said he has inhibited himself from the case upon learning that several court employees received movie passes from a still unidentified individual in a hearing of the Geisler case last December 19.

Moreno said that while the movie passes have no particular monetary value, he said he would rather inhibit from the case to preserve the integrity of the court.

Geisler had pleaded not guilty to charges of acts of lasciviousness slapped against him by the 21-year-old daughter of William Martinez and Ma. Rosario “Yayo" Aguila-Martinez.

The case is set to be re-raffled before the Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Geisler pleads not guilty to acts of lasciviousness

Actor Baron Geisler had pleaded not guilty to charges of acts of lasciviousness slapped against him by the 21-year-old daughter of William Martinez and Ma. Rosario “Yayo" Aguila-Martinez before the Makati City Metropolitan Trial Court.

During Tuesday’s arraignment of the case, Makati MTC Branch 64 Judge Ronald Romero asked the parties if they were amenable to settlement through mediation, but the complainant, Patrizha Maree, said she is not open to it. Romero then scheduled the pre-trial of the case on April 14 at 1:30 p.m.

Patrizha was accompanied in the courtroom by her parents.

Geisler’s lawyer, Bonifacio Alentajan, said his client pleaded not guilty because he believes the case was nothing but a “nuisance suit." He said they would be filing a motion to dismiss the case following the arraignment.

Alentajan maintained that the elements constituting the charge of acts of lasciviousness are absent in the complaint filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against his client.

"After the arraignment, we will file a motion to quash because the information does not constitute an offense," Alentajan said, adding that under the law, a lascivious act is done with force, violence or intimidation and done with a lewd design.

Alentajan said Patrizha did not mention in her affidavit that Geisler used force, violence or intimidation when he allegedly touched her breast inside a posh Makati bar last year.

The lawyer said Geisler could not have had a lewd design against Patrizha since the supposed act was done inside a crowded bar.

"Paano ka magkakaroon ng pagnanasa o lewd design sa loob ng isang restaurant [How can you perpetrate a lewd act in a restaurant]?" Alentajan said.

The incident occurred last April 25, 2008 inside Fiama Bar on Jupiter Street in Makati City where Patrizha was partying with friends.

But Salvador Panelo, Patrizha’s lawyer, said the defendant’s camp was just resorting to “squid tactics," adding that they have enough proof to prove their case.

"We will present our evidence to prove our case. They should just present theirs to counter ours. The only issue here is probable cause. In interviews, the accused (Giesler) said he touched the breast of my client, but he said he was just playing a role. Dun pa lang may probable cause na [Based on those statements, there is already probable cause]," Panelo said.

Interviewed before the arraignment, Geisler, dressed in a black business suit, said he is confident in winning the case. "I just want to work. Ang hirap ng may bitibit kang ganitong pangyayari [It's hard to carry this kind of burden]," he said.