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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


Guam Superior Court Judge Denies Blue House Motions
16 defendant motions dismissed, state discovery motion upheld

By Geraldine Castillo

HAGTA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, Feb. 20, 2013) – Guam’s Superior Court yesterday denied several motions filed by the defendants in the prostitution and kidnapping case involving former Blue House Lounge owner Song Ja Cha and three police officers.

Judge Anita Sukola yesterday issued a written decision and order on a total of 17 motions she had taken under advisement. Sixteen of the motions made by the defendants were denied, and a motion for discovery made by the government was granted.

A total of 11 motions to dismiss were filed by attorneys for Cha and Guam Police Department Officers David Q. Manila and Mario L. Laxamana. A third police officer involved in the case – Anthony Quenga – has not filed any motions due to being reassigned to a new attorney.

Sukola also denied other motions filed by the defense, such as motion to compel discovery, motion for severance and separate trial, and motion to enlarge time.

Based on the government’s motion for discovery which was granted by Sukola, defense attorneys are required to disclose to the prosecutors specific information required 10 days prior to the first scheduled trial.

That information includes, "any report or statement of an expert, made in connection with the case, including results of physical or mental examinations ... which the defense attorney intends to use at trial; the nature of any defense which the defendant will use at trial; and the name and address of any person whom the defendant’s attorney intends to call a witness in support thereof," the court order stated.

The parties are due back in court for further proceedings Feb. 25 at 9 a.m.

Convicted

Cha has already been convicted of numerous sex trafficking crimes in federal court as the mastermind behind the Blue House lounge where she lured young women from Chuuk to work for her, only to force them into prostitution at the lounge.

She is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison but has filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court. Cha, along with the police officers, still have several charges to face in local court.

The Blue House lounge operated from 2004 until 2008 when it was shut down after a police raid. Officers Manila, Laxamana and Quenga were arrested three months ago after a GPD investigation revealed their alleged connection to the lounge.

Cha and the policemen face more than two dozen charges in an indictment in local court which include kidnapping, felonious restraint, promoting prostitution, and assault, among many others. Manila and Quenga face rape and sexual molestation charges.

Marianas Variety Guam: www.mvguam.com
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