Koror, Palau February 7, 2020: Nancy Renguul, a 65-year-old retired school teacher from Ngerchelong, was found not guilty by a jury after a three day trial before Associate Justice Kathleen Salii. Renguul was charged with Labor Trafficking, People Trafficking, Exploiting a Trafficked Person and Unlawful Conduct With Respect To Documents (Passport) after a complaint was filed by a young Filipina worker employed by Renguul in 2018. After hearing from three witnesses, including the alleged victim, the jury deliberated approximately four hours before rendering a verdict of Not Guilty on all four counts.
Ms. Renguul broke down and cried upon hearing the verdict and thanked the jury and her attorney.
Nancy Renguul’s attorney, Chief Public Defender James Hanley, stated he appreciated the hard work of the jury. Hanley says she is very happy that his client has gotten her good name and reputation restored and can now get on with her life as a retiree who cares for her elderly mother.“Ms. Renguul never should have been charged in this case,” said Hanley.
Chief PD Hanley also asked the jury to use a Not Guilty verdict to send a message to the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney General and the Human Trafficking Office that they appreciate their difficult job, but they should be using their time and resources to investigate real human traffickers and sexual predators and not complaints made by disgruntled employees about 65-year-old retirees.
The young Filipina who made the complaint in the case was allowed to remain in Palau, obtain a new labor certification and work permit and go to work for the family of the Labor employee who took her to the Human Trafficking Office to make her initial complaint. She is still employed with that family and stated at trial that she likes the new job and is treated very well.