Navarro camp downplays new rape complaint

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

THE camp of actor/television host Vhong Navarro on Thursday found the rape complaint filed by another woman as distraction to the ongoing probe of the Department of Justice (DOJ) into the mauling incident in Taguig City last month.

In a television interview, lawyer Alma Mallonga questioned why it took four years for a certain Roxanne Acosta to file a complaint against Navarro before the Pasig Prosecutor's Office. The incident happened in 2010, according to Acosta's lawyer Virgilio Batalla but the rape complaint was filed only on Wednesday.

"This is a distraction. This is an attempt to discredit Vhong. This is an attempt to harass him," said Mallonga as she warned Acosta of perjury charges if her story turns out to be false.

In a phone interview by "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" on Wednesday, Batalla said Acosta filed the rape complaint against Navarro after Deniece Cornejo, 22, lodge a similar complaint against the actor before the Taguig Prosecutor's Office.

"Dahil nakita niya na puwede palang mangyari ito nang paulit-ulit sa ibang babae katulad niya," Batalla said.

He said that his client has the right to file necessary charges against Navarro because the alleged incident only happened four years ago.

Mallonga said they were not surprised with the development, noting this could have been motivated by businessman Cedric Lee's previous pronouncement that he has been talking to some women who were allegedly sexually molested by Navarro.

Lee is one of the eight respondents in the mauling of Navarro at the unit of model/stylist Deniece Cornejo, who accused the actor of rape, in Forbeswood Heights on January 22.

Mallonga said the "It's Showtime" host is already aware of the latest complaint.

"He's aware. I called him up. Hindi kami nagulat at ang intindi pa nga namin ay this is just a first of others. Ang ini-expect namin na after this, meron pang ibang labas," said in a separate interview.

The lawyer added they have been focused on the complaints stemming from the condo incident, which are being heard by three prosecutors.

The DOJ will hold a hearing on Friday to give Lee and company a chance to officially rebut Navarro’s allegations of serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, illegal arrest, blackmail and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense. (With Glaiza Jarloc/Sunnex)

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