Cornejo pleads not guilty in grave coercion case

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

MANILA -- Model-stylist Deniece Cornejo on Thursday maintained her innocence over the grave coercion case filed by actor-television host Vhong Navarro in relation to his mauling by a group of men almost four months ago.

Cornejo pleaded not guilty to the case before Judge Bernard Bernal of the Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court branch 74, said Navarro's lawyer Alma Mallonga.

Bernice Lee, sister of co-accused Cedric, also entered a not guilty plea during the arraignment.

The case stemmed from the actor's admission that he was forced to admit to the police that he attempted to rape Cornejo, which Cedric used as justification for beating Navarro black and blue at the model's condominium unit in Taguig City on January 22.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), which prepared the case, said Cedric's group had no right to compel Navarro to admit a crime or even bring the actor to the police station to own up to an offense he never committed.

A separate Taguig court entered a not guilty plea for Cornejo, Cedric and Zimmer Raz for serious illegal detention, a non-bailable case.

Cornejo is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City while Cedric and Raz are under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The three have a pending court motion against their possible transfer to the Taguig City jail. (Sunnex)

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