Another Capuchin priest named for first time in clergy sex abuse suit

Pacific Daily News/March 20, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

Another Capuchin Franciscan priest was named as a defendant in a clergy sex abuse lawsuit, filed Tuesday by a former seminarian identified in federal court documents only as K.B.

The lawsuit states another seminarian later confided to K.B. that the same priest also sexually abused him.

K.B. now resides in California and was 14 or 15 years old when Father Leon "Warren" Murphy sexually abused him around 1969 in the rectory living room of the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat, the lawsuit states.

The sexual abuse and molestation happened during the feast of the Agat parish, according to the lawsuit, which demands $5 million in minimum damages.

Murphy died around July 1975 at the age of about 60, the lawsuit states.

He was an agent of the Archdiocese of Agana and a Capuchin priest who began his assignments on Guam in or about 1949 or 1950, the complaint states.

K.B., represented by attorney David Lujan, said in his lawsuit that Murphy started fondling and grabbing K.B.'s private parts when they were alone in the Agat rectory living room, while other seminarians were in another part of the rectory talking to Father James Gavin.

"When Father Murphy noticed that the other seminarian boy had returned, he pushed K.B. off his lap and quickly picked up a newspaper. The boy just stared at K.B. and Father Murphy," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit states after K.B. confided to the other seminarian what Murphy did to him at the rectory, the other seminarian said Murphy did the same thing to him.

K.B., now 63, aspired to become a priest when he was a young man.

He was a seminarian in or about 1969 at Father Duenas Memorial School in Mangilao, a minor seminary that teaches young men to become priests.

Named defendants in the K.B. lawsuit are the Archdiocese of Agana, Capuchin Franciscans, Capuchin Franciscans Province of St. Mary, Capuchin Franciscans Custody of Star of the Sea and up to 50 John Does.

At least 160 Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuits have been filed in local and federal court.

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