A Blue House employee who was a key witness in a federal trial has signed a testimony agreement in local court, and could now become an important witness in a new trial that includes police officers.
Saknin Weria testified in the federal trial that women at the Blue House lounge were required to have sex in private rooms, and that these same women feared the police officers who visited the brothel at least twice a week.
“When they see the police walk in, they jump up off of their seat and run into the kitchen to hide,” Weria said in 2011, while testifying at the District Court of Guam.
Now testimony like this could be heard in the local court.
The Superior Court of Guam case covers many of the same allegations as the District Court trial held in 2011, but the local case also includes allegations against three police officers, who allegedly assisted the brothel.
Yesterday, during a Blue House hearing in the Superior Court, Weria pleaded guilty to seven counts of felonious restraint as a third-degree felony.
As part of her plea agreement, Weria is required to testify in the upcoming trial of her five co-defendants. Those co-defendants are: Blue House owner Song Ja Cha, supervisor Freda Eseun and police Officers David Manila, Anthony Quenga and Mario Laxamana. As a reward for her testimony, prosecutors will ask for Weria’s sentence to be suspended.
Weria’s attorney, Peter Sablan, said the testimony agreement requires his client to testify against Cha, but doesn’t require her to help with the prosecution of the other suspects.
However, as of today, all the suspects are scheduled to go to trial together. Jury selection begins Jan. 2.
No one knows what exactly Weria will say when she testifies in the upcoming trial, but her testimony from the similar trial in federal court is a matter of public record.
During the federal trial, Weria explained that she worked as a translator for Cha, who couldn’t speak Chuukese, the language of most of the Blue House victims. As a reward for translating, Weria was treated slightly better than the other girls, but still was required to have sex with customers.
Weria described how Cha would take the passports from the Blue House employees, then demand the employees work off debts to earn the passports back. If the women didn’t do as they were told, Cha threatened to have police arrest them, Weria testified during the federal trial.
Weria also testified that Cha would hit some of the women who worked at Blue House, or withhold food from her employees if customers complained about them.
When one of the Blue House workers became pregnant, Cha told the women at the brothel to help her “get rid” of the unborn child, Weria testified. The pregnant worker ultimately was taken to an abortion clinic, but first Cha had the women try more brutal methods, Weria testified.
“(Cha) asked us to try to help her get rid of the baby (by) drinking Pine-Sol, Clorox, soy sauce,” Weria said during the trial in federal court. “Just jump on her stomach. Do anything …”
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