Guam – A jury of 8 women and 2 men Thursday found Song Ja Cha guilty on all 20 counts of sex trafficking at the former Blue House Lounge.
The jury deliberated for about a day and a half before reaching their verdict Thursday morning in District Court.
Cha was found guilty of forcing young Chuukese women to work as prostitutes at the former lounge in Upper Tumon. The verdict was unanimous on all counts.
Cha was free on bail during the trial, but that was immediately revoked and she was taken into custody by Federal Marshall’s after the verdict. U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco said “The Department of Justice is very pleased and satisfied with the Jury’s verdict. We believe that justice has been served for these victims as well as for the entire community.”
The U.S. Attorney also said that the verdict sends a strong message.
“This verdict serves as a message to all of these individuals, organizations, businesses here in Guam and in the Northern Mariana Islands that are conducting illegal activities, exploiting women and men in sex trafficking as well as labor trafficking.”
Limtiaco also thanked the victims who she said were “extremely courageous and strong in coming forward and being a part of this trial.”
Cha faces substantial time behind bars ranging from 10-years to life on all the counts. She will be sentenced on May 18th.
Meanwhile, Limtiaco also said that allegations that some Guam Police Officers provided cover for Cha’s illegal activities, are being looked into.
“The Federal Government is looking into that matter,” said Limtiaco. “We will be reviewing the entire set of circumstances with regards to any police officers that may have been involved,” she said.
Defense Attorney Howard Trapp said afterward that he will move for a new trial. Failing that, he said he would appeal the verdict.