Life for Sex Trafficking

September 22, 2012

Finally, the proper sentence has been handed down for sex trafficking -life in prison.
Department of Justice                                                               Office of Public Affairs 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     Thursday, September 20, 2012 
Guam Bar Owner Sentenced to Life in Prison for Sex Trafficking and Related Crimes 
Song Ja Cha, 70, a bar owner in Guam, was sentenced to life in prison today for her involvement in a sex trafficking scheme to force young women and one juvenile girl into prostitution, the Department of Justice announced. Cha was also ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to the victims in this case as well as a $10,000 fine. 
On Feb. 17, 2011, a federal jury in Guam found Cha guilty on all 20 counts of an indictment that charged her with sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, coercion and enticement to travel in interstate or foreign commerce for prostitution and transportation of a minor for prostitution. The trial lasted eight days. 
According to court documents, from 2004 through January 2008, Cha and others in the conspiracy recruited and enticed approximately 10 victims to come to Guam from the island of Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. The victims were largely poor, young and uneducated. Cha lured the young women and one 16-year-old girl to Guam by promising them legitimate employment in a restaurant or store. In actuality, Cha was the proprietor of Blue House Lounge, a bar that included approximately six VIP rooms offering commercial sex. 
According to evidence presented in court, Cha and her co-conspirators compelled the victims to work in the VIP rooms for 12 to 14 hours a day for the financial benefit of the conspiracy. Upon the victims’ arrival to the Blue House Lounge, Cha stripped the young women of their passports, clothing and identities. Cha then used a variety of means to compel the victims to engage in prostitution, including physical assaults, threats of arrest, manipulation of debt, withholding food and restricted access to the outside world. The victims testified that they were terrified of Cha and her co-conspirators, and that Cha used the fact that police officers frequented the lounge to make the victims believe that she was “connected” and could have them arrested and jailed. 
“The sexual exploitation of vulnerable individuals is an affront to fundamental rights and will not be tolerated in our country. The defendant preyed on the hopes and dreams of these young victims, forcing them into a life of prostitution,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to vigorously prosecuting the trafficking of human beings to uphold the rights of those held in modern-day slavery, whether for labor or for sexual exploitation.” 
“Human traffickers trick, lie and coerce young women with a promise of work in a legitimate job,” said Alicia Limtiaco, U.S. Attorney for the District of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. “In reality, these young women lose their freedom and are horribly demeaned by the sexual acts that they are forced to perform. Defendant Cha preyed on vulnerable victims and used threats and abuse to force them into prostitution. The jury’s verdict makes clear that sex trafficking schemes will not be tolerated. We will continue to find traffickers and hold them accountable for their crimes.” 
The Department of Justice has identified human trafficking prosecutions as a top priority. 
This case was investigated by special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Guam Police Department. This case was prosecuted by trial attorneys Jared Fishman and Shan Patel of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Criminal Section with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Rosetta San Nicolas and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. 
To report trafficking crimes, please call the Department of Homeland Security Tip Line at 1-866-347-2423.
Let's hope a strong sentence is also handed down for Yanchun Li and and co-defendant Wei Lin who were engaged in trafficking of women from China and bringing them to Saipan to force them to engage in sex. They were charged with a count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and to benefit financially from a sex trafficking venture; three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; and one count of financially benefiting from a sex trafficking venture.

Their case is very similar to the one cited above, as are most sex trafficking cases. Women are lured by false promises of a job, have their passports seized, are forced to engage in commercial sex, and are threatened to be jailed or worse if they escape from their captors.


captain said...

This is a good sentence, but any sentence pertaining to this person at her age is a life sentence.
I am curious just how they exspect to collect the fine and other court ordered expenses?
Guam seem to hand out meaningful sentences and a realistic bail rate.
They even have a mandatory 15 yrs sentence involving sex crimes against minors.I don't know about rape in general as most other places do. (even the Phil. has mandatory)

JFYI, the Phil. has been very serious laws ion "human trafficking" and has recently put more teeth in them and is doing aggressive enforcement.
They have been breaking up large scale rings and has much "propaganda" (for a better word)on TV and the satellite TV along with documentaries from around Asia, especially Cambodia where the children are sold into sex slavery by their parents. (even have that happening in the Phil.)
Until we can get rid of these useless elected and put in some new faces with at least a "real" High School education that can read and write and actually comprehend what they are reading and what's going on around them, we won't get any real mandatory sentences, a "three strikes law" nor Judicial "processing". We will still maintain the present "catch and release" on all that have connection and the correct name.
Hopefully this election an elected AG will pass so in two years we can have a real AG.
This in itself may also force changes in the cops shop. (unless we get a new Gov and they have a special election for an AG before the next scheduled election.
This rats den that they call DPS has to be cleaned out and restructured also before anything meaningful can happen.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Captain

I was thinking that a good idea for the CNMI to get revenue is to have a reality show -the most corrupt place on US soil. The show would never run out of episodes.

Seriously, the place is in such a downward spiral it is surely going to hit rock bottom.

Worst police department in the USA. Disgusting.