A priest threatened to demote a boy’s grandparents from the leadership of their parish if he exposed sexual abuse, according to a new lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam.
D.D.D., who filed the lawsuit using his initials, alleges Father Adrian Cristobal sexually abused him every Saturday for two years beginning when he was 12. Cristobal also served as the Archdiocese of Agana chancellor and is named in at least three other civil complaints alleging sexual abuse.
The plaintiff attended Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and often volunteered during Sunday Mass by collecting the limosnas, or offering, at the Barrigada parish where Cristobal served as a parish priest in 2008.
The lawsuit alleges Cristobal abused the plaintiff in “every way imaginable” and taught and trained the boy to perform acts on him.
The priest also allegedly bribed the boy $20 every Sunday so the victim would not disclose the abuse.
D.D.D.’s grandparents held esteemed positions at the church. Cristobal allegedly reminded and threatened that he would demote the grandparents should the boy mention the sexual abuse, court documents state.
After the first allegations were filed, Guam Archbishop Michael Byrnes revoked Cristobal’s ability to celebrate Mass or hear confession. Cristobal was staying in Phoenix, Arizona, temporarily on a “mission” between December 2017 and April 2018 but was ordered to return to Guam to answer to the sexual abuse allegations. The Diocese of Phoenix said Cristobal had left its jurisdiction.
The plaintiff’s attorney, David Lujan, maintains the Archdiocese of Agana policies and procedures to investigate and address instances of child sexual abuse by priests were implemented “for no other purpose than to avoid scandal, maintain secrecy and preserve loyalty to fellow clergy, including child-molesting clergy, rather than the protection of children.”