Catholics protest

Some of Guam's Catholic faithful hold what has become a weekly protest in front of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. The protesters want suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron permanently stripped of his title. David Castro/Post

Attorney David Lujan moved three more sexual abuse civil complaints to the District Court.  The cases, filed on behalf of Edward Roberto Chan, Ramon Afaisen De Plata, and Paul Joseph Borja against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, brings the total number of lawsuits seeking to hold the Vatican responsible for the allegations against the archdiocese to 15.

Like the other dozen cases moved over the last two weeks, the three cases filed today each demand relief in the form of a minimum $5 million in damages.

According to Post news files, De Plata said that in March 1964, he was a 10-year-old altar boy at Our Lady Peace Parish in Chalan Pago. While staying overnight with about eight other altar boys in the parish rectory, De Plata said he saw Apuron – a seminarian at the time – and another clergy member, Rev. Antonio Cruz, engaging in sexual activity with another 10-year-old altar boy. 

"The restroom was located inside (Cruz's) bedroom. I woke up late in the night to use the restroom. When I entered Pale Cruz's bedroom, I saw Pale Cruz lying on the bed naked. One of the altar boys was on the bed naked," De Plata stated in a written testimony.

The boy was lying on his side and performing fellatio on Cruz, De Plata stated, while Apuron performed fellatio on the boy. De Plata turned away from the scene and headed toward the bathroom, only for Apuron to follow him and place an arm around his shoulder. De Plata said his older brother, also an altar boy, suddenly appeared behind them and the two left the rectory. De Plata said they opted not to speak to each other about what they saw that night. 

Chan, a 45-year-old Washington resident, alleged he was abused while he was an altar boy in the 1980’s by former Guam priest Raymond Cepeda.

Statements attributed to Chan in the suit allege that the abuse took place in 1987 when he was 15 years old. At the time, Cepeda was a priest at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.

Introductory allegations described in court documents state that Cepeda fondled and masturbated Chan at the Pastoral Center of the cathedral where Chan had gone for a scheduled counseling session with Cepeda following morning Mass.

According to Post files, Cepeda was defrocked in 2009 following an investigation into serious allegations of abuse against him.

Borja’s complaint also seeks damages for child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring and retention and breach of fiduciary duty/confidential relationship.  The 63-year-old Chalan Pago resident alleges he was molested by a local parish priest when he was serving as an altar boy at the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in 1965.

The priest identified as now-deceased Rev. Antonio C. Cruz, is accused of molesting and abusing Borja.

The allegations presented in the suit state that Rev. Cruz had obtained permission from Borja's mother for Borja to meet Cruz at his residence on the second floor of the Chalan Pago Parish. According to court documents, the events that transpired that night constituted sexual abuse that included Cruz performing oral copulation on the then-12-year-old Borja.

The complaint added that three years later in 1968, after Borja's family had moved to California, Cruz joined Borja's family for dinner at their California residence. After dinner, Borja states that Cruz asked for Borja to accompany him on a walk around the neighborhood. Court documents state that because Borja's family was unaware of the history of sexual abuse, Borja agreed to go out of courtesy. During their walk, Borja claims that Cruz handed him an envelope that he later found to contain $50 in what he assumed to be hush money.

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