Tag Archive for: sexual abuse

Child Molester Who Fled to Asia Sentenced in Sex Abuse Case

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.

Swim Instructor Sentenced to Prison for Molesting Underage Students

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan announced today that swim instructor Nicholas Piazza, 20, was sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with committing lewd acts against three children while he taught them to swim.

In July 2021, Piazza lewdly touched his 8-year-old student during a swim lesson. During prosecution for that case, as a condition of his release, Piazza was ordered not to work with any minors. Despite the court order, Piazza continued to give private swim lessons and molested two more children including a 5-year-old in June 2022 and a 7-year-old in September 2022.

“This defendant violated the trust placed in him by the parents of the victims in the worst way possible and caused harm and trauma to his victims with his lascivious crimes,” DA Stephan said. “Today a measure of justice was handed down for the victims, their families and the community affected by this disturbing crime.”

Piazza pleaded guilty to one felony count of a lewd or lascivious act against a minor under the age of 14 and two misdemeanor counts of annoying or molesting a child. The incidents happened between the Summer of 2021 and the fall of 2022.

As a result of the plea, Piazza will be required to register as a sex offender.

Deputy DA Isaac Jackson prosecuted this case.