by Mindy Aguon
Guam - New criminal charges have been handed down against the defendants in the Blue House Lounge prostitution case. A superior court grand jury returned a third superceding indictment on Friday evening.
The new indictment contains 17 criminal charges with each defendant charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit felonious restraint, felonious restraint, conspiracy to compel prostitution, compelling prostitution, conspiracy to promote prostitution, promoting prostitution, 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted 1st degree criminal sexual conduct, attempted 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct, criminal intimidation and official misconduct.
In addition to having to answer to the new charges on Wednesday, Police Officers Anthony Quenga and David Manila and former Blue House Lounge owner Song Ja Cha will now have to wait awhile longer before they find out when their case will go to trial. Because Cha has filed an appeal to the Guam Supreme Court of the judge's denial of her motion to dismiss based on double-jeopardy, the court must wait for the appellate court to act on that motion first.
Cha, Manila and Quenga face numerous criminal charges for their role in forcing young girls from Chuuk to work as prostitutes at the Upper Tumon club. Cha was convicted two years ago in federal court for sex trafficking by force, coercion and enticement to travel for prostitution and conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Police Officer Mario Laxamana signed a plea agreement agreeing to cooperate with the Attorney General's Office in the case against his co-defendants. Another criminal trial setting is scheduled for April 1 to allow time to determine what action the Guam Supreme Court will take on Cha's appeal.