District Attorney Charges Fugitive Who Fled to Asia in Child Molestation Case
San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said today her office has filed child molestation charges against Chester Yang, 72, for an April 2017 incident in which he molested a 5-year-old victim at a church on the University of San Diego campus.
Yang, who was extradited from Singapore with the help of Interpol and U.S. federal authorities, is charged with two counts of lewd acts on a child and one count of oral copulation of a victim more than 10 years younger. If convicted, he faces 100 years to life in prison.
“Let this case be a warning to anyone who would abuse our children,” DA Stephan said. “We will not stop pursuing justice, whether the defendant flees our jurisdiction or not. I am grateful to the 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 District Attorney investigators. Chester Yang will be held accountable for his crimes”
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. He was booked into the San Diego County jail on December 13.
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 is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Melissa Diaz, the Chief of the DA’s Family Protection Division. The arraignment was handled by Assistant Chief Deputy DA Ryan Saunders.
A readiness conference in this case has been set for December 27 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for December 29.