Court sentences Vhong Navarro’s 4 tormentors to 40 years in jail

A COURT has sentenced businessman Cedric C. Lee, model Deniece V. Cornejo and two others to 40 years imprisonment for the crime of serious illegal detention filed against them by actor and host Ferdinand “Vhong” H. Navarro.

Judge Mariam H. Bien of the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 153 found the four — Zimmer Raz, and Ferdinand Guerrero — guilty of the crime and ordered them to pay P300,000 for civil indemnity, moral damages, and exemplary damages.

The Court also cancelled the bail bond or cash bond they posted. Ms. Cornejo and Mr. Raz were committed immediately as they were present at the promulgation.

“The acts of Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, Zimmer Raz, and Ferdinand Guerrero, when taken together, reveal that they acted in concert with one another and that their acts emanated from the same purpose or common design showing unity in its execution,” the decision read.

The court issued warrants for the arrest of Mr. Lee and Mr. Guerrero.

BusinessWorld reached out to the lawyers of the convicted but they did not reply as of the writing of this story.

In January 2014, Mr. Navarro was beaten up by Messrs. Lee, Raz, and Guerrero inside Ms. Cornejo’s condominium unit on her claim that the actor had raped her.

Subsequently, Ms. Cornejo filed rape and acts of lasciviousness complaints against Mr. Navarro, while he filed counter-charges of serious illegal detention against her and her male companions.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) junked Ms. Cornejo’s complaints against Mr. Navarro in 2018 and 2020.

However, in July 2022, the Court of Appeals overturned the decision, sending Mr. Navarro to detention at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and then the Taguig City Jail until he was granted bail in January 2023 and released.

Two months later, the Supreme Court dismissed the charges against him, saying the CA erred in its decision. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana