A Rhode Island district court judge has been accused of violating judicial ethics by sexually harassing a female court clerk and committing other alleged offenses.
The Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline concluded after an investigation that Judge Rafael Ovalles engaged in conduct that brought his office into "serious disrepute."
The commission conducted the investigation after receiving complaints from a deputy court clerk and lawyer alleging misconduct.
The allegations include failure to understand basic legal concepts, abusive treatment of court personnel and impairing litigants' right to fair representation. A deputy clerk claims 51-year-old Ovalles acted inappropriately toward her in his chambers on two occasions.
Ovalles has 20 days to respond to the commission's findings. A public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 6.
Ovalles did not respond to requests for comment.