Lawsuit: Victim regrets not coming forward sooner

ALLEGATIONS: The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña is shown in this file photo. Two more lawsuits were recently filed by a man and a woman who allege they were abused by now deceased priests Raymond Cepeda and Daniel Cristobal, respectively, when they were kids. Post file photo

U.U.U., who wanted to protect his identity, filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam, seeking damages of at least $5 million from the Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina and Santa Barbara Catholic School.

The boy attended Eskuelen Pale, taught by now deceased priest Raymond Cepeda, and learned to know and trust him as a good priest because his parents spent hours volunteering their time to the church and to Cepeda by preparing meals, washing and ironing the priest’s clothes, cleaning his bedroom and the church.

One Sunday in the late 1970s, before Mass, U.U.U. was outside the church waiting for Mass to start when Cepeda allegedly told him he needed the boy’s help in his room at the rectory.

When they got inside the room, Cepeda allegedly pushed the boy and pinned him against the wall and sexually abused him. When the boy threatened Cepeda that he was going to tell his parents, the priest allegedly loosened his hold and told the boy that telling his parents will only break their hearts and he should spare them the hurt, court documents state.

Over the next year or two, Cepeda continued to tease and taunt the boy to give himself to the priest and accused the boy of enjoying the abuse, the lawsuit alleges.

The plaintiff was extremely conflicted by Cepeda’s actions and his unfulfilled desire to tell his parents, both of whom passed away in the 1990s.

Attorney David Lujan said his client has “extreme regret” in not exposing Cepeda to his parents and has blamed himself hundreds of time for not having exposed Cepeda, an act that could have resulted in the priest being removed much earlier than 2010 and spared the sexual abuse of dozens of other children.

Another lawsuit

Lujan filed a second lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a female client who was a former altar server. She alleges she was sexually abused for five years by a now deceased priest in the 1960s at the Chalan Pago parish.

The woman, identified in the civil complaint filed in the Superior Court as R.R.R. to protect her identity, sued the Capuchin Franciscans and named the late Daniel Cristobal as her abuser.

She became an alter server at the Chalan Pago church, where Cristobal was assigned as priest.

The girl was tasked to clean Cristobal’s bedroom at the parish. She alleges the priest sexually abused her on at least 10 occasions and forced her to perform sexual acts on him, court documents state.

The alleged abuse continued when R.R.R. became a Sodality girl, a Catholic church society for young girls.

She ceased being a Sodality girl in 1965 after she could no longer take the continued sexual abuse, the lawsuit states.

The second lawsuit also seeks $5 million in damages.