Guam News - Guam News
Guam - A man accused of sexually molesting a Taiwanese tourist back in April while she was snorkeling has been found guilty on all charges of criminal sexual conduct.
Henry Cepeda Chinel, 24, had been on trial since last week. His victim, a Taiwanese, returned to Guam to testify against Chinel in Superior Court. She told jurors that Chinel touched her private parts while she was snorkeling at Ritidian Point. Chinel was employed with the Star Sands Resort at the time.
He was convicted of third degree criminal sexual conduct as a second degree felony and fourth degree criminal sexual conduct as a third degree felony.
This is not the first time Chinel was convicted of criminal sexual conduct for molesting a girl. Chinel was previously convicted of criminal sexual conduct for molesting a 14-year-old girl. He served about three years in prison and was just released last November.
His sentencing has been scheduled for July 31 at 4 pm.
READ the AG release on the verdict below:
Chinel Found Guilty of Molesting Tourist; Victim Comes Back to Guam to Testify
July 17, 2012- Haganta, Guam- Henry Cepeda Chinel was found guilty today of third degree criminal sexual conduct as a second degree felony and fourth degree criminal sexual conduct as a third degree felony for luring his victim-a tourist- to an isolated area in the waters of Urunao back in April of 2012, where he sexually molested her several times.
“Too often, perpetrators think they can prey on tourists because they are here temporarily, that it won’t get reported and that they won’t suffer consequences for their criminal actions. I want to send a clear message: you will be caught and we will seek justice for those victims who have the courage to report the crime,” said Attorney General Leonardo M. Rapadas.
“I want to thank the victim for not only reporting this injustice done to her, but for being brave and having the strength to come back to face and testify against her perpetrator. To my staff, chiefly the prosecution and investigations team, you continue to work tirelessly… thank you. I’d also like to give a special thanks to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office of Guam for their unending support through this process, particularly in cooperating with our prosecution team to assist with the victim’s return to Guam,” he continued.
“The cooperation between this Office and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office- or any other Consulate Office on Guam for that matter- is essential and vital to both the people of Guam and the quality of environment for our tourists,” AG Rapadas said.
“This case makes it clear that even if your victim lives off-island, we are still going to prosecute you and hold you accountable for the crime,” said Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Vasiliades.
Chinel was released in November of last year after he sexually molested a 14 year-old girl a few years back and is registered as a Level III sex offender.
His sentencing is set for July 31, 2012 and he faces a maximum of 15 years imprisonment.
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