Worker comes forward; defense seeks new trial in Blue House case - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Worker comes forward; defense seeks new trial in Blue House case

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - A former Blue House Lounge worker took the stand in the Superior Court of Guam today as two police officers, convicted in a prostitution scandal, have asked for a whole new trial.

In an unexpected turn of events, attorneys for David Manila and Anthony Quenga, appeared in the Superior Court of Guam today asking once again for a new trial but this time based on new information.  Manila's attorney, Terry Timblin, says a former Blue House Lounge staffer Ivory Warren had previously been interviewed by the FBI and police about her three-year employment at the Upper Tumon club. 

She was never called as a witness during the federal trial of her former boss, Song Ja Cha or the local trial of the two police officers.  Timblin says at the time of those interviews, Warren only spoke about what she knew and what happened with her during her time at the Blue House. "Then she heard the trial, she watched you (KUAM) folks on TV, and the internet and in the newspaper, and she saw what these other girls were saying and she realized they were lying," he explained.

Warren's story only came out as Cha's attorney, Mark Kondas, began preparing for his client's trial, which is slated for April. That's when an investigator spoke to Warren who shared a completely different picture than what was presented during the officers' trial. "I was obviously quite pleased but again she's just saying what I've been saying all along that they had the motive to lie because they either get arrested for being prostitutes or they can say, 'No, I was forced, they made me do it' and suddenly they skate and they end up getting paid $80,000 on top of that," he continued.

Warren testified today that she worked as a waitress at the Blue House and was paid by the number of drinks she sold to customers.  For every $20 drink, she said she was paid $15 and the remainder went to "mama san", who she identified as Cha. Warren said she saw the other women being paid, despite their claims, during the trial, that they never received money from Cha. 

She also admitted to having sex with a customer once during her three-year employment at the Blue House and said she stopped working to care for her children. Warren said she often translated for Cha to new girls who worked at the bar and told them that the bar was not a massage parlor and was to be used for karaoke and stressed Cha's "no sex allowed" policy.  She also said that several of the women who testified during the trial had gotten in trouble by Cha for having sex with customers in the VIP rooms, but said the owner never beat up the girls or forced them to live there. 

She recalled that the girls would often go to the movies, the mall and shopping with Cha.

Warren said she believes the women who testified were lying and said the VIP room was meant to be a private room for karaoke for customers who rented it by the hour. Those who wanted to could buy a $40 drink to have a girl keep them company in the vip room.

"So that's been our theory all along and that's still my theory and I think these folks deserve a new trial," said Timblin.

She admitted that most of her customers were mostly businessmen.  Warren was asked to name her customers, but said she couldn't recall.  Timblin says the defense was given business cards and names of her customers, but doesn't expect that they would be called to testify, if there is a new trial.  The parties will continue presenting arguments on the defense motion for a new trial on Thursday morning.

The court meanwhile has yet to rule on the defense's previous motion for a new trial in which they alleged questionable prosecutorial conduct throughout the trial. Additionally they argue that none of the potential jurors in the pool had escaped exposure to the media coverage of the trial and some admitted they had already made up their minds but promised to keep an open mind during the trial anyway.

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