Apuron victims 'vindicated'

ABUSE: In this May 2017 photo, Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla and Roland Sondia accuse former Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexually abusing them in the 1970s when they were altar boys. Post file photo

The Vatican tribunal investigating allegations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron will meet two of the former Guam Catholic leader's accusers in Hawaii next week.

Attorney David Lujan confirmed with The Guam Daily Post that his clients, Roland Sondia and Roy Quintanilla, have agreed to meet with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke at a church in Hawaii on May 6. Burke is presiding over the church tribunal tasked with hearing the case against Apuron.

"We have reached a compromise," Lujan said on Tuesday.

The attorney will not be allowed to be in the room, but can be outside while his clients testify.

"I'm satisfied that Roy and Roland will testify and stick to what Apuron did to each of them, respectively," he said.

The parties have been going back and forth since the tribunal was in Guam in February as part of the canonical trial for Apuron, who faces penal charges in connection with allegations that he sexually abused altar boys decades ago when he was a priest.

During the tribunal's Guam visit, Lujan objected to his clients' participation in the depositions as he was not allowed to be present and he wasn't clear on the canonical trial procedures and rules, and whether his clients' interests would be protected.

The attorney would not disclose details of the compromise but confirmed that his clients would participate this time around.

The "compromise" comes after two of Lujan's clients, Walter Denton and Doris Concepcion – on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata – met with the tribunal last month in Prescott, Arizona, to provide testimony on the allegations against Apuron.

Sondia, Quintanilla and Denton have raised allegations of childhood sex abuse at the hands of Apuron. The former leader of Guam's Catholic Church is currently off island "defending his innocence without distraction," said his attorney, Jacqueline Taitano-Terlaje.

The tribunal is anticipated to wrap up its investigation into Apuron by the summer.

Recommended for you