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Inquiry hopes to instill community confidence

by Nick Delgado

Guam - Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas, Chief of Police Fred Bordallo and their respective teams met today to discuss the special investigation into police officers who may have been connected to the Blue House Lounge.  The investigation is aimed at boosting the public's confidence in the police force.

The Attorney General's Office will be taking the lead in a special investigation into police involvement in an illegal brothel that was run by Song Ja Cha.  Cha was sentenced to life in prison for bringing young girls from Chuuk to Guam and then forcing them to work as prostitutes without compensation. During the trial last year, testimony was provided by two workers who said police officers would frequent the bar and one employee also named two officers she saw as "Tony" and "Mario".  Up until last week the Guam Police Department and the AG's Office had done nothing to pursue leads into the allegations. 

But with pressure from Adelup, Bordallo announced the creation of a special investigation team. "Should there be any information that surfaces on some officers being directly involved in the Blue House investigation the attorney general discloses then there will be some serious adverse actions, it's also administrative disciplinary action that's needed," he said.

The investigation will also focus on Police Officer David Manila who admitted to paying to have sex with one of the workers and the role he may have played in telling the workers that they were not allowed to leave until they had repaid their debt to Cha.

Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas says the GPD officers will work in collaboration with his a-g investigators instead of conducting two separate investigations. Rapadas said, "Any time the people lose confidence in their law enforcement officials that's not a good thing so we will go where the evidence takes us. Just want to ensure the public that we will work with the chief and with his officers and my investigators and our prosecutors and we will go where the evidence takes us."

Bordallo added, "Nobody is above the law and the attorney general and I agree that any police officer who tarnishes the badge who's involved in any corruption will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Rapadas could not say why his office had not conducted an investigation into the allegations sooner, adding, "We at this point actual investigations as far as I know the investigations that we were doing were in relation to the prostitution case that we have currently filed in the superior court."

Cha is set to go to trial next month on local charges of aggravated assault, assault and felonious restraint. Rapadas says he will also meet with U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco in the next few days. adding he's been assured that they will receive full cooperation from her office and federal agencies who were involved in the investigations surrounding the federal case.

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