10 indicted on illegal drug possession charges

GUAM JUDICIAL CENTER: Ten people were recently indicted for drug-related crimes, that means a grand jury for each case felt there was enough evidence for a case. The Guam Judicial Center, which houses the Superior Court of Guam, is pictured on June 28, 2020. Post file photo

A woman who alleged that she was repeatedly raped by a man known to her since she was 12-years-old was in tears as she testified in the Superior Court of Guam.

Jury trial got underway on Thursday for defendant David James Paco Cruz, 40, also known as DJ, before Judge Vernon Perez.

The victim, now 20, was the government’s second witness to be called up to testify.

“He was together with my mom for a while,” the victim said. “Since I was 2-years-old.”

The victim recalled the first alleged incident in 2012 when her family stayed the night at a local hotel, and she said awoke to the suspect raping her.

“He covered my mouth and told me not to say anything," she said. 

She testified that she was scared and did not know what else the defendant would do to her.

“All he said was that if I said something that he was going to do something about it,” she said.

A second alleged incident occurred a few days later at their Mongmong residence.

“Did you want to tell people what happened?” said Assistant Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas.

“Yes,” she said.

“But, you didn’t?” he said.

“No,” she said.

“Did those acts continue?” he said.

“Yes,” she said.

“When would this happen?” he said.

“Every couple of weeks,” she said, saying he would force her to touch him. 

In June 2019, the defendant again raped the victim at least twice, court documents state.

Cruz is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct as a first-degree felony and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct as a second-degree felony.

Rapadas and defense attorney Peter Santos presented opening to the jury, as well.

“We are here today because this man repeatedly raped (the victim). It started in 2012 and ended in 2019. Seven years - 2012 it was a graduation party for one of his nephews. The family was there,” said Rapadas. “Instead of waking up to get water or go to the bathroom, she woke to the defendant inside of her ... He would hold her mouth and tell her to be quiet. When he was done, she got off the bed and went to the bathroom … two nights later they were back home. The same thing happened.”

He asked the jury to find the defendant guilty.

Santos contends his client is not guilty.

“All the evidence and information you will hear, there is just not legally or confidently enough evidence to find a verdict of guilty,” he said.

Guam police officer Michael Ramos, who was the officer who took the complaint in 2019, also testified.

“It appeared she was in distress. She was emotional and had a hard time answering questions that I was asking in my interview. Due to her emotional state, it was hard for me to get answers from her,” said Ramon, who added that the victim eventually spoke up.

“Did any of the details she was giving you seem hard to believe?” said Santos.

“No,” Ramos said.

“When she told you how she reacted to these incidents that didn’t seem hard to believe?” Santos said.

“No,” Ramos said.

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