Guam archbishop defends sexual abuse claims

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana
 A Guam court has dismissed part of a defamation lawsuit about sexual abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana.
He was facing several accusations of sexual abuse in the 1970s.
In a public statement in 2016, the archbishop called the accusations “intentional lies.”
The archbishop’s accusers brought a two-part defamation case against him shortly after that statement.
Guam Pacific Daily News reported that the four plaintiffs sought $US500,000 in defamation charges.
In a recent decision, a court judge dismissed the slander case but allowed the libel case to stand.
The archbishop’s lawyer says the complaint was two-fold: one was for defamation, the other for slander.
The court dismissed the slander, so now it’s a libel case.
Four former altar boys have accused Apuron of sexually abusing them in the 1970s.
At the time, Apuron was a parish priest at Mount Carmel Parish in Agat.
The allegations became public in 2016.
In January 2018, the archbishop’s nephew accused him of rape around 1989 or 1990.
Guam Pacific Daily News quoted Apuron in January as denying the Allegations. “God is my witness: I deny all allegations of sexual abuse made against me, including this one”

Further sexual abuse claims

Meanwhile, a 96 year old Guam priest, Louis Brouillard, is also accused of sexual offending in the 70s.
His accuser, an altar boy, says Brouillard raped him during a sleepover.
Brouillard was on Guam from 1948 to 1981. In 100 lawsuits, accusers say he sexually abused boys.
He has admitted sexually abusing boys during his time on Guam, before the church shifted him to the United States mainland.
Fifteen other Guam priests, two archbishops and a bishop are also implicated in sexual abuse. The claims span from the mid-1950s to the early 1990s.
So far, the sum of the lawsuits the Catholic Church is facing exceeds $US600 million.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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