Man accuses former catechism teacher

THIRD LAWSUIT: Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church is pictured in Agana Heights. A third lawsuit has been filed against a former catechism teacher who is accused of abusing a child from the parish's youth choir. Post file photo

A second individual has come forward alleging he was sexually abused and molested by a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) teacher at the Agana Heights parish.

C.J.I., a man identified by his initials to protect his privacy, filed a civil complaint against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Capuchin Franciscans, and Vernon T. Kamiaz alleging child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and retention and breach of confidential relationship.

The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s when C.J.I. was a CCD student and a member of the Agana Heights Youth organization.

When C.J.I. was 15 years old, he recalls going around the village fundraising with Kamiaz and other members of the organization.

Kamiaz allegedly drove the boy and other youth members from village to village and then dropped off the kids.

C.J.I. was the last to be dropped and Kamiaz reportedly took the boy to his mother's home, saying he needed to stop and get something. C.J.I. said he agreed because he looked up to Kamiaz as a trusted mentor and as a Capuchin brother, court documents state.

When he got there, Kamiaz instructed the boy to get down and wait inside. The boy's parents had not allowed him to go into other people's homes, but C.J.I. said he obeyed Kamiaz and went inside the home.

Kamiaz allegedly left the boy sitting on the bed and returned wearing only a towel and then sexually abused him and forced the minor to perform sexual acts, the complaint states.

Attorney David Lujan, who represents C.J.I., alleges there were "sexually predatory norms" that were an integral part of a long-term relationship between the Archdiocese of Agana and the Capuchins that fostered an environment conducive to the sexual abuse of young boys in Guam. Lujan argues the two entities "exploited the trust" placed in the church by the community while the archdiocese and Capuchins tolerated and remained "willfully blind" to the rampant sexual abuse that was perpetrated on an ongoing basis.

The lawsuit seeks $5 million in damages.

Kamiaz is employed with the Guam Department of Education and previously taught science at Simon Sanchez High School. Following the first childhood sex abuse lawsuit accusing Kamiaz, the catechist and public school teacher was detailed to GDOE's Curriculum and Instruction Office.

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