24 Sep 2012

Judge calls crimes of Guam brothel owner close to slavery

1:27 pm on 24 September 2012

The owner of a brothel in Guam has been sentenced to life in federal prison for crimes that a judge says were not far removed from slavery.

Song Ja Cha, who has lived on Guam for 30 years, ran the Blue House lounge in Tamuning from 2004 to 2008.

The Federal Judge Dean Pregerson said during Cha's sentencing he basically owned the bodies and minds of the young girls working in the Lounge.

According to federal court documents, Cha lured poor, uneducated women from the Federated States of Micronesia to Blue House by promising high-paying waitressing jobs.

However, once the women arrived in Guam, Cha took away their passports and forced the victims into prostitution.

Two other defendants in this case, Freda Eseun and Saknin Weria, were sentenced to three years of supervised release.