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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quichocho: Nothing ‘extraordinary’ happened in Guam
Lawyer takes witness stand, says he treated Kim as his sister

Attorney Ramon K. Quichocho testified in federal court yesterday that he treated businesswoman Jung Ka Kim like a sister and denied that anything “extraordinary” happened between him and Kim inside a hotel room in Guam.

Quichocho took the witness stand after Kim rested her case when her last witness, MD. Delowar, completed his testimony.

Upon questioning by his counsel, Michael Dotts, Quichocho said several times that he treated Kim as his sister and a family member.

When asked if anything “extraordinary” happened between him and Kim in a room they shared at Hyatt in Guam on Nov. 1, 2008, the lawyer said that nothing happened as he was tired, just slept, and woke up at 7am the following day.

At this point, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona adjourned the hearing, saying that Dotts will continue questioning Quichocho when trial resumes on March 3.

Quichocho recounted that it was on the morning of Nov. 1, 2008, when Kim called him on the phone, saying she had been crying all night because her former husband did something bad to her.

Having heard that the psychiatrist at the Commonwealth Health Center has already left CHC, Quichocho said he decided to bring Kim to Guam for treatment as he was worried she would commit suicide. He said his wife, Frances, dropped him and Kim off at the Saipan airport that afternoon.

Upon arriving in Guam, Quichocho said the girlfriend of his uncle met them and they proceeded to Guam Memorial Hospital, where Kim was seen by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Quichocho said that after buying medicine and getting dinner, he brought Kim to the Hyatt. At the time, he said, there were a lot of military personnel in Guam but he managed to get a room.

Quichocho said that Kim’s friend in Guam showed up and that made him think that the friend would stay with her.

Quichocho said that Kim followed him inside the hotel room. He said he never heard Kim say “don’t touch me” before going inside the room.

He said there were two beds inside the room. He said he was very tired, showered, set the alarm clock, and the next thing he knew it was already about 7am. He said he and Kim then had breakfast.

Dotts asked if anything “extraordinary” happened inside the room.

“No,” Quichocho replied. Dotts then told U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona that it was the best time to adjourn for the day. The judge agreed and continued the trial on March 3.

Kim is suing the Quichocho couple, the Quichocho law firm, and the couple’s Karissa LLC for racketeering and other claims. On Feb. 7, she testified that Quichocho raped her twice in 2008, including in Guam, while she was on medication due to depression and anxiety.

Quichocho also testified yesterday how he moved his law firm’s office to some rooms on the second floor of the two-story Signs Arts Building in San Jose owned by So-In Corp. and Kim in 2007.

He said he signed the lease agreement with Kim’s former brother-in-law at $400 monthly and on the understanding that he would evict the then-current tenants who were not paying rent.

The lawyer said he wrote on Oct. 19, 2007, a notice to the tenants to vacate the building, but they did not respond and just moved out because they did not want to be sued.

Quichocho said So-In Corp. renovated the units that his law firm then occupied.

He admitted his involvement in preparation of documents for some of Kim’s companies.

Quichocho said he represented Kim and So-In Corp in at least two Labor cases. He said he was charging $200 per hour, but there was no retainer agreement in those cases.

The lawyer said there was absolutely no discussion about offsetting his legal representation in Labor cases with the apartment rent.

He said in the latter part of 2007, he and his wife, Frances, started a family friendship with Kim.

Quichocho also disclosed that in 2008 he and his wife once offered Kim their property for ground lease to serve as property bond for the temporary release of Kim’s former husband, who was then facing a criminal case.

Quichocho said he and Kim eventually cancelled the ground lease after five months because the property bond was not needed anymore as the Superior Court agreed to reduce the bail.

He said Kim posted a $25,000 cash bail for her former husband.

When Dotts asked him why he basically allowed Kim to borrow his property, Quichocho said he treated Kim as his sister at the time.

“I would do that for my sister,” he said, adding that he did not get paid for doing it.

“It was purely a family thing. I jumped into that opportunity to help her as a sister,” the lawyer pointed out.

He said at the time, he and Frances did not know anything about Kim’s former husband.

Dotts then submitted as evidence several photos of Kim, the Quichochos, their children, together in social and family gatherings.

Quichocho said he and Kim got close to each other as a family as she showed respect to his family, uncles and aunts. At some point, he said, Kim was closer to Frances than him.

Quichocho said they allowed Kim to use one room in their law office for her safety because her former in-laws were harassing her in her office on the first floor of the Sign Arts Building.

He said he, Frances, and Kim had a pleasure trip in Guam in September 2008. He also stated that three of them also went to Rota together in November 2008 and in January 2009.

Quichocho also stated that he represented Kim, her family, and companies in at least three civil lawsuits, but there were no retainer fees.

Quichocho said he, however, expected to receive legal fees for his representation at some point.

When asked why he did not send his billings in 2008, Quichocho said he really treated Kim as his sister.

“I don’t bill my sister, brother right away. There is a so-called grace period. If they have the money already, they can pay me,” he said.

Quichocho said Kim became a member of Tan Dingo LLC, that he, Frances, and his uncle Joaquin Atalig, formed in 2006, because she wanted to feel part of the family.

Quichocho said there was absolutely no agreement that Kim would buy 100 percent of Tan Dingo LLC shares.

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