Guam – The Blue House sex trafficking case is now in the hands of a jury.
During closing arguments Tuesday morning, Federal Prosecutor Jerad Fishmen called the Blue House “a place where men went to buy sex.” Defense Attorney Howard Trapp countered by attacking the credibility of the witnesses.
In his closing argument, Fishmen accused Blue House owner Song Ja Cha of using “force, fraud and coercion to compel young Chuukese women” into prostitution at what he called “a sex house run and operated ” by Cha.
Citing testimony from former Blue House employees, Fishman said “9 victims were stripped of their innocence” and “endured horrors, so that the defendant could make a buck.”
Fishmen accused Cha of “luring the young women to Guam” and “stripping them of their cloths, passports, names and identities … depriving them of food and using threats and intimidation to force them to have sex with men inside the VIP room of the Blue House.”
Fishmen took particular aim at the role that he alleged some Guam Police Officers played in protecting Cha.
He recalled the Friday testimony of Officer David Manila who admitted patronizing the VIP room on at least one occasion and having sex with one of the workers. Manila also acknowledged that he “spoke” with some of the women who owed Cha money.
“Guam Police were regular visitors,” to the Blue House, said Fishmen. “They were friendly with the defendant.” And he said Cha “used police as her weapon” and “the victims were afraid of the police.”
Cha’s Defense Attorney Howard Trapp countered by attacking the credibility of 2 of Cha’s former employees who have made plea agreements with the government.
“They had to lie” said Trapp, “because they were just trying to get the best, the sweetest, deal they could because they knew they were in trouble.”
“Ask yourself” said Trapp to the jurors, “aren’t they lying about everything else?”
Trapp also questioned the testimony of the alleged victims saying “I suggest they told police they were forced, so they wouldn’t be arrested.”
And he challenged the prosecutions contention that Cha physically intimidated the women.
“Whatever else you say about Mrs. Cha she is not physically imposing …” and “not capable of beating these girls.”
And Trapp challenged the contention that the women could not leave …”they were taken to lunch…to the movies … what was to keep them from walking away.”
The jury was sent home at 5 pm Tuesday and will resume their deliberations Wednesday at 8:30 am.