Lawsuit: Monsignor raped girl after offering wine

RAPE ACCUSATION: The Niño Perdido y Sagrada Familia Catholic Church in Asan was the scene of alleged sexual abuse against a teenage girl, according to a recently filed lawsuit. Post file photo

A now-deceased monsignor who served as a Catholic priest on Guam and Saipan is accused of coaxing a young teen into drinking wine and then raping her after she fell asleep, according to the latest lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam against the Capuchin Franciscans and the Archdiocese of Agana.

M.J.R., who used initials to protect her identity, alleges the incident happened on the second floor of the Niño Perdido y Sagrada Familia Catholic Church in Asan, where Monsignor Jose Ada Leon Guerrero, the parish priest, resided.

The girl was 13 and attended study club at the parish on Monday afternoons.

The lawsuit states Leon Guerrero asked M.J.R. to help him sort out the limosna, or church offerings, collected from the previous Sunday.

M.J.R. agreed and assisted the priest several consecutive Mondays and said Leon Guerrero would often hug her while counting the money. She assumed it was OK since "he was a good and holy man to be trusted," court documents state.

He also rewarded her with $10 or $20 for helping him.

On the sixth Monday, Leon Guerrero allegedly coaxed her into drinking wine, despite her reservations because it made her dizzy and sleepy.

"Monsignor gently berated and convinced her to continue drinking, since it was the blood of Christ," the lawsuit states.

The girl said she fell asleep and remembers seeing Leon Guerrero come out of the bathroom wearing only a shirt and shorts, forcing her into his bed, and forcefully undressing her.

After the alleged rape, M.J.R. ceased attending the study club and when questioned by her guardian, the girl told her about the abuse.

"For her honesty, she was scolded for accusing a man of God who was incapable of such a vile act," the lawsuit states.

M.J.R.'s attorney, David Lujan, contends the defendants and others were aware of the sexual abuse committed by Leon Guerrero and remained "deliberately quiet" and assisted to keep his "misconduct hidden and secret."

The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages.