Quenga and Manila verdicts read in Blue House Trial last night - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Quenga and Manila verdicts read in Blue House Trial last night

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GUAM - During a press conference this morning Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas thanked all those involved in the successful conviction of two police officers for their involved in the Blue House Lounge case. Rapadas however warned the case isn't exactly closed.
"I wish I could say that this was the last chapter of the Blue House case but I am informed that there may be some other allegations involving other police officers that we have to determine we can prosecute beyond a reasonable doubt and the criminal investigation evidence also get folded into administrative investigation of the matter as requested by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor that has yet to be completed" the AG warned.
After less than a week of deliberations jurors found police officer Anthony Quenga guilty of almost all the charges handed down against them. The two were charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, compelling and abetting prostitution, criminal intimidation and criminal facilitation, criminal sexual conduct and official misconduct. They were the enforcing arm of Blue House Lounge owner Song Ja Cha's criminal enterprise to lure young girls from Chuuk to work as prostitutes in her Upper Tumon bar. Chief prosecutor Basil o'Mallan was pleased with the decision saying the not guilty verdicts on some of the counts shows that jurors really took their time and weighed the evidence as it pertained to each of the counts charged in the indictment. He  thanked the work of the FBI and the Guam Police Department and officer Tracey Volta noting that their effort in getting the conviction cannot be "underestimated".  O'Mallan says the verdict serves as a strong reminder to members of law enforcement they  will be held to a higher standard.
 "These are just two individuals who were bad apples in the bunch. The rest is a tremendous crew. I'm very saddened because these were officers who took an oath to uphold the law and they violated their oath. It's not just for GPD but for people involved in law
enforcement, we must all follow the law" the prosecutor quipped charismatically.
Quenga's attorney Sylvia Stake believes the jury didn't fully comprehend the issues in the case saying she believes they were affected by the criminal sexual conduct accusations.
 "You compare this with how Mario (Laxamana) got off with one felony
and the rest just thrown out. There were a lot of other things that didn't come out about him and it's not justice. It's not fair. This treatment is too disparate" Stake confessed.
Stake hopes her client appeals but  says she hopes he finds a new attorney to look at the case with a "fresh set of eyes".

Manila's attorney Terry Timblin meanwhile confirms that he will be filing an appeal as he says there were substantial legal issues involved which were not addressed by the court. 
"The court simply did not address them so there will be an appeal and there are substantial legal issues and of course what the jury says about the facts, that's about the way it is but you can expect an appeal."
The AG's office plans to seek life sentences against the officers. They are scheduled to be sentenced in November.
Governor Eddie Calvo and Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio expressed their gratitude to the attorney generals office for pursing justice and securing these convictions. They added the  administration will reach out to the victims to provide any services they may need to help them through the nightmare they have lived.

A transcript of governor's reaction is below:

Statement from the Governor on the Blue House Convictions


The following is the Governor's reaction to the convictions in the Blue House trial in the Superior Court:


Ray and I, on behalf of the Guamanian people, thank Prosecutor Jonathan Quan, the investigators at the Attorney General's Office, Chief Prosecutor Basil O'Mallan, Chief Deputy AG Phil Tydingco, and Attorney General Lenny Rapadas for pursuing justice to the full extent of the law and securing these convictions. This is a message to everyone, from the man on the street to anyone who will occupy the halls of Adelup that no one is above the law. No one has the right to abuse women and enslave them with fear.


The fact that these criminals used the color of their authority as police officers to hurt and violate these women is despicable and, as justice presents today, intolerable. These men brought shame to their office and their oath. They embarrassed their fellow officers, who work on the side of justice every day. While Guam's finest have been risking their lives for the security of our people, these men were hurting women. Ray and I commend Police Chief Fred Bordallo, Commander Maurice Sayama, and the special investigators who gathered all the evidence, interviewed the witnesses, and presented the facts that the prosecutors needed to build their case.


Justice came, but it took some time. The Blue House case shined the light on what is wrong with the system, and how it can improve. It reminded us as a community about the critical role of the media in our system of laws and justice. Guam's reporters pushed this case into the public spotlight, causing authorities to take a closer look and pursue the truth.


The real heroes here are the victims. After all they have been through, they came forward with courage and they took the stand to face the people who once wielded so much power over them. Today there are people to thank for restoring faith in our system of justice, but there is no celebration. While the criminals are being put away to answer for their crimes, nothing can erase the horror they put those women through.


Our administration will reach out to the victims to provide any services they may need to help them through the nightmare they have lived. The government provides services to victims of violence. Non-profit organizations are filled with caring souls who help women and children through tough situations.


If there is one message that has come through loud and clear, it is this: if you are the victim of someone's violence and abuse, come forward and we will free you from these crimes. We will pursue justice to the ends of the earth, and justice will prevail for you and for this community. Today, the bad guys lost, and the good guys won. 


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