Blue House Lounge case nears trial - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Blue House Lounge case nears trial

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - It was a case that was first brought to light in 2008. And after five years of motions, conflicts over counsel, delay after delay, the high profile Blue House Lounge case is finally nearing trial. It certainly has been a long journey to get to where we are today as jury selection finally got underway for at least two of the defendant in Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola's courtroom.

Prior to jury selection getting started this afternoon a pre-trial conference was held for Police Officers David Q. Manila and Anthony Quenga. The two are accused in the high profile Blue House Lounge case. They were indicted in November last year accused of a slew of charges including promoting prostitution and criminal sexual conduct.  Their attorneys however this morning filed several motions to dismiss various charges. For example Quenga's attorney Sylvia Stake motioned to dismiss four conspiracy and four criminal sexual conduct charges. The Attorney General's Office was given until Monday to file opposition to the motions.

In the meantime jury selection got underway today for Manila and Quenga who are being tried together. This is expected to continue for the rest of the week with trial anticipated to begin on august 9th.

As we reported Quenga and Manila were indicted last year along with another Police Officer Mario Laxmana. Laxamana however has already signed a plea agreement to cooperate with the case.

We should also note that the owner of the Blue House Lounge Song Ja Cha was also in court this morning. She appeared for a criminal trial setting. She is the alleged master mind of the case. She along with two of her former employees were arrested and indicted five years ago. Her two employees however have entered plea agreements.

Cha is accused of luring young girls from Chuuk to Guam and then forcing them to work as prostitutes at her bar. Cha is being tried separately from the police officers.

Cha we should add was convicted in federal court in 2011 on 20 counts of sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, conspiracy and enticement to travel for the purpose of prostitution. She was sentenced to life in prison but is appealing the conviction.

According to our news files as a result of the federal conviction, the local charges of compelling and promoting prostitution were dismissed in local court but aggravated assault and felonious restraint charges still stand.

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