SAN DIEGO — A man who molested a 5-year-old child at a San Diego-area church in 2017 was sentenced this week after he was extradited from Singapore, the county district attorney announced.
Chester Yang, 73, was arrested in December 2022 by the county’s Fugitive Task Force in connection with the incident at the University of San Diego campus church, according to District Attorney Summer Stephan’s office.
Following the incident, officers attempted to contact Yang at his family’s home, but were unsuccessful. The day after, prosecutors say he fled to Taiwan — a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the United States — and was unable to be sent back to San Diego.
According to the DA’s office, the U.S. Marshals service contacted Taiwanese authorities to get them to notify them if Yang left the country. In late May 2022, Interpol alerted U.S. authorities that he flew to Singapore, prosecutors said. A Deputy U.S. Marshal and the DA then made arrangements to have him extradited to San Diego.
Yang pleaded guilty to one felony count of forcible lewd acts upon a child in September and was sentenced to 25 years in state prison. It was his second known offense, according to prosecutors — his last stemmed from a 2001 case.
No additional details about Yang’s relationship with the victim in the 2017 case or the church were immediately available.
“Chester Yang has been held accountable for his crimes, despite fleeing almost 7,000 miles away,” DA Stephan said in a released. “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.”
The DA’s office has a dedicated Extraditions Unit that prosecutors say was integral in bringing Yang back to the U.S.
“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,” she added.