5 more clergy abuse lawsuits filed in federal court

Pacific Daily News/February 1, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Five former altar boys filed separate multimillion-dollar lawsuits in federal court Wednesday afternoon, alleging they were sexually abused or raped by Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron and former island priest David Anderson decades ago.

Each of the five clergy sex abuse lawsuit demands a jury trial and at least $5 million in general damages, for a combined minimum total of $25 million, plus attorney’s fees and other costs.

Also named as a defendant is the Archdiocese of Agana which, the lawsuits state, is an entity under the control of the Holy See in Vatican City, Rome, Italy. The defendants include up to 50 others who may have helped, abetted, concealed or covered up the priest sex abuses.

The five cases are the latest filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam after eight trial judges in the Superior Court of Guam recused themselves from hearing the abuse cases in the local court, citing conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest. Although most of the Superior Court's judges recused themselves, court officials have said the Superior Court can call in temporary judges, if necessary, to hear cases.

Six other former altar boys filed clergy abuse lawsuits in federal court on, Jan. 24, after filing lawsuits in Superior Court last year.

The five former altar boys in the most recent court filings are: Roy T. Quintanilla, 52; Walter G. Denton, 52; Roland Sondia, 54; and the estate of the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata, represented by Mary Jane Quinata Cruz. They allege that Apuron sexually abused them in the 1970s while he was parish priest in Agat. Denton also alleged that Apuron raped him.

Former altar boy Robert A. Perez, 45, alleged that Anderson molested and raped him when he was an altar boy and a student at Father Duenas Memorial School in the 1980s.

The clergy abuse survivors are represented by Attorney David Lujan, of the law firm of Lujan and Wolff.

Apuron, 71, has been the archbishop of Guam for nearly 31 years. He is also undergoing a canonical trial at the Vatican over multiple sex abuse allegations.

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