15th sex abuse case filed

SCENE OF ALLEGED ABUSE: The exterior of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica Pastoral Center in Hagåtña. A 15th survivor of child sexual abuse has come forward and filed a lawsuit claiming that a local clergyman sexually molested him on the grounds of the cathedral when he was an altar boy. Read the full story on page 2. David Castro/Post

A 15th survivor of child sexual abuse has come forward and filed a lawsuit claiming that a local clergyman sexually molested him when he was an altar boy, and that high-ranking officials within the Archdiocese of Agana did nothing to stop it.

According to court documents filed by attorney David Lujan, Edward Chan became the 15th complainant to file a civil suit under provisions of Public Law 33-187. The 45-year-old Washington resident alleged that the abuse took place while he was an altar boy in the 1980s and named former Guam priest Raymond Cepeda as his abuser.

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 made against him.

Chan's suit is the most recent accusation of molestation among the 14 others filed so far – the incident in question having allegedly occurred 29 years ago. It is also the first case that claims abuse that took place on the grounds of the Hagåtña cathedral.

Like those before it, Chan's suit further identifies five other unnamed insurance institutions and up to 45 unnamed individuals who either helped to conceal the abuse or otherwise reneged on their responsibility to minors under their charge. The suit asked for a jury trial of six and relief in the form of monetary relief for damages and legal fees in an amount to be determined during trial.

Recommended for you