New clergy abuse lawsuit against now defrocked priest Cepeda

Pacific Daily News/June 1, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Former Catholic priest Raymond Cepeda, who was defrocked by the church, allegedly sexually abused a boy attending confirmation classes and other church functions from around 1983 to 1984, a lawsuit filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Guam on Thursday states.

The now 48-year-old man, identified in court documents only as R.Q., was 14 or 15 years old when the alleged abuse happened, the lawsuit states.

R.Q., now living in Washington, is represented by attorney David Lujan. He is the 70th person so far to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agana, naming a priest as the abuser. Two other childhood sexual abuse cases filed against the church did not name priests or clergy.

The lawsuit states Cepeda was a priest at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo when the alleged sexual abuse happened.

R.Q. was assigned as a reader during baptismal Mass. One day, Cepeda instructed the boy not to leave the rectory, where he later sexually abused him, the lawsuit states.

"This happened almost every Saturday after baptismal mass," the complaint states. The alleged abuse also happened in the priest's car, when Cepeda drove R.Q. home.

Cepeda was defrocked around 2009 or 2010, the lawsuit states. R.Q.'s lawsuit demands a jury trial and $5 million in minimum damages.

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