San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that a 73-year-old man who molested a 5-year-old victim at a church on the University of San Diego campus has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Chester Yang, who was extradited from Singapore with the help of Interpol and U.S. federal authorities, pleaded guilty in September to forcible lewd acts upon a child and admitted to his prior strike offense. He had previously been ordered to stand trial.
“Chester Yang has been held accountable for his crimes, despite fleeing almost 7,000 miles away,” DA Stephan said. “We will not stop pursuing justice, especially where it comes to those who sexually abuse children and this case demonstrated our commitment to reach out as far as Asia to stop them. Bringing justice took the unified efforts by an international and local team that assembled to bring this predator to justice including, the U.S. Marshals Service, Interpol, the San Diego Police Department’s Child Abuse Unit, and our own Deputy District Attorney Melissa Diaz and a team of District Attorney investigators.”
The day after Yang’s family was contacted by police, he fled to Taiwan, which would not extradite him back to San Diego. The U.S. Marshals service was instrumental in developing a relationship with Taiwanese authorities and ultimately getting them to alert the U.S. if Yang left Taiwan. In late May, Interpol alerted U.S. authorities that Yang flew to Singapore and Deputy U.S. Marshal Todd Loveless and the District Attorney’s Office quickly made arrangements to have Yang extradited to San Diego.
The District Attorney’s Office has a dedicated Extraditions Unit that brings fugitives from abroad or from other states to face criminal prosecution in San Diego and seeks justice for crime victims. International extradition is complex and varies from nation to nation with very specific legal requirements involving multiple agencies.
This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Melissa Diaz, the Chief of the DA’s Family Protection Division.