Jury deliberates in Hosei sexual assault case; defense seeks acquittal

TRIAL: Vianney Hosei, right, is shown on the second day of his trial Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of Superior Court of Guam Judge Elyze Iriarte. Hosei is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a girl who was 16, according to court documents. Pictured at left is defense attorney Peter Santos. Kevin Milan/The Guam Daily Post

The teenage girl allegedly sexually assaulted by three 18-year-old men was asked emotionally tough questions, having to recall the night of the incident during a graduation party in 2018.

On the witness stand Thursday, she was even asked if she was "pretending to not remember."

The victim was 16 at the time of the alleged sexual assault. She was drunk and incoherent and didn't realize she had been sexually assaulted until she saw a video circulating on social media, according to the prosecution.

She snuck out of her home to attend the graduation party.

The victim told the jury that Dwayne Piyelit, Burton Borja and another male picked her up. She said defendant Vianney Hosei, who's on trial, was not in the car.

She didn't meet Hosei until after she arrived at Borja's home, where the graduation party was taking place.

"I was sitting outside," said the victim.  

The victim confirmed she was drinking alcohol and only Piyelit knew her real age; others thought she was 18.

She couldn't recall what everyone was drinking and referred to the written statement she provided to the police.

The victim indicated liquor and beer fueled the party.

Assistant Attorney General Christine Tenorio asked the victim about her conversation with Piyelit a week after she found out she was sexually assaulted when she saw a video of it on social media.

"He was telling me that it was my fault," said the victim, who was unsure why he would say that.

She said Piyelit was the one who made her drinks.

Hosei's attorney, alternate public defender Peter Santos, asked if Piyelit had forced her to drink the night of the incident.

"No," she said.

Santos further said to the victim, "You sat down, kicked back; you were introduced to Vianney. He asked how old you were, and you told him you were 18, correct?"

The victim replied, "Yes."

After that night, the victim hung out with the accused three times, but the prosecutor said the victim didn't know at that point of the sexual assault.

After she found out about the video of the sexual assault, the victim said she didn't hang out with the defendants again.

"Because it was weird," said the victim.

Tenorio asked the victim to explain what she meant by weird.

"Like, I didn't want to see them anymore," she said.

Joleen Rankin, the fourth defendant in the case, had shared the video on social media after accessing Piyelit's phone and sending it to herself.

Police showed the victim the video, and Tenorio asked how she knew it was the defendants.

"People were saying it was them. But when people are saying it's them, I remembered that it was the three of them that night," said the victim.

Tenorio clarified that the victim associated the three defendants with the night of the incident.

Santos asked if it's true it was the girl who contacted Piyelit and asked him to pick her up.

"I don't remember," said the victim.

Santos pointed out the parts of the night that the victim remembered and the parts she couldn't.

"You were asked a lot of questions today, and a lot of times you said you don't remember. Is it really true that you don't remember, or are you pretending that you don't remember?"

"No," said the victim.

Hosei's trial will continue Friday morning.

Piyelit, Borja and Rankin each took a plea deal with the government while Hosei pleaded not guilty.

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