Guam – Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola has denied a motion for a new trial sought by David Manila and Anthony Quenga.
The 2 former Guam Police Officers were found guilty last September on multiple counts of kidnapping and prostitution in connection with the forced prostitution that was occurring at the now closed Blue House Lounge.
Manila’s Defense Attorney Terry Timblin and Quenga’s Attorney Sylvia Stake sought a new trial “based on newly discovered evidence” after they were found guilty. They cite statements made by a former female employee of the Blue House lounge, Ivory Waren.
READ Judge Sukola’s order HERE
Warren told former bar owner Song Cha Cha’s investigator that “Cha treated her and the other girls good; that she never hit any of the girls, that she and the other girls got paid $900.00 per month, that [the] other girls were lying although she does not know why they were lying….” [ Cha has already been sentenced to life in prison in Federal Court].
However Judge Sukola ruled that Waren’s post-trial statement does not constitute newly discovered evidence because Manila’s defense had considered calling her as a witness during the trial but decided against it because “she [Waren] contradicted Defendant Manila’ s assertion that he never had sex with” another employee at the bar.
“As such”, concludes the Judge, “where a party fails to call a witness who was available during trial, the testimony of that witness cannot be considered newly discovered evidence.”
Judge Sukola also called the statement’s made by Waren “merely impeaching and not material”.
“Ordinarily, evidence impeaching a witness will not be material … because it will not refute an essential element of the government’s case. At most, it will provide the trier of fact with a reason to find the witness’ testimony incredible”, concluded Judge Sukola.
And Judge Sukola ruled that the statement made by Waren “is insufficient to lead to a likely acquittal”.
“Waren’s testimony must be considered in context with the strong weight of the evidence presented by the People,” writes Judge Sukola, “which included the testimony of nine other women, all of who offered consistent, corroborating, and compelling testimony against the Defendants.”
Manila and Quenga are scheduled to be sentenced on April 14th.