Retired psychiatrist faces multiple counts of harrassment
By Adriana Cotero
February 9, 2021
The Superior Court of Guam has found probable cause to charge retired psychiatrist Dr. Abner Pasatiempo with seven counts of both official misconduct and harassment. Dr. Pasatiempo was an employee with the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center until December 13, 2019, the date he resigned.
A magistrate complaint charges the doctor with seven counts of official misconduct and seven counts of harassment. According to the complaint, the alleged offenses occurred at appointments or sessions with clients between March 2018 and December 2019, while the defendant was a government employee.
As stated in the declaration, throughout the month of February 2019, a female victim was present at an appointment with then psychiatrist Dr. Pasatiempo at GBHWC. The woman was there to discuss her desire to discontinue taking certain prescription anti-depressant medication and the defendant recommended she be “weaned” off the medication.
However she informed Pasatiempo that she had already stopped taking the medication for the past month and a half. Further in court documents, the defendant allegedly told the victim she may feel anxiety due to stopping the medications and that there were pressure points that would help rid the anxiety.
The defendant then stood behind her in an effort to show her the pressure points, in which he allegedly moved both of his hands to her breasts. The victim pulled away and told Pasatiempo she felt uncomfortable.
More victims have come forward reporting the alleged office misconduct from the months of March 2018, December 2018, June 2019 and October 2019, this included an incident with department of corrections inmates.
Court documents state, the defendant asked a female inmate inappropriate questions regarding sexual behaviors. The prisoner had monthly appointments with pasatiempo, in which he allegedly changed her medications and upped doses. During an October 2019 appointment the victim was joined with another female at Pasatiempo’s request.
In his office, the defendant stared at them in silence then stated to the females they were beautiful and “that it was a shame the used drugs”. The defendant allegedly offered to get them a house or go off-island so that they could stay together and he offered to pay for it.
The office of the attorney general sent a press release announcing that the court finds the charges filed against Pasatiempo are supported by probable cause.
As stated in the release, under Guam law, a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor crime must be charged within one year of the date the incident occurs. However, there is an exception to the general rule when the offense is based on misconduct in office by a public employee.
Since the offense is based on misconduct in office, prosecution can commence against a public official or employee during their employment or within 3 years after their employment ends.
KUAM a has reached out to GBHWC regarding the matter, as of news time we have yet to receive a response.
A summons was issued; Pasatiempo is to appear before Magistrates Judge Benjamin Sison on March 5, 2021.