Archdiocese details priest's sexual abuse

KUAM News, Guam/April 23, 2010

Guam - The Guam Catholic Church says abuse allegations against former priest Father Raymond Cepeda date back over five years. Deacon Jeff Barcinas, spokesman for Archbishop Anthony Apuron, tells KUAM News that only one victim that he knows of reported abuse by Fr. Cepeda and he says the victim was not a minor.

Barcinas says the process to laicize Cepeda took several years and required the consent of the Pope. Cepeda, a former priest at the Santa Barbara Church in Dededo, was officially removed from the clergy last December.

"All I know from when the alleged incident was from when the incident was first reported to the Archbishop. At that time the archbishop did take the necessary action to suspend that time Father Ray Cepeda from any ministry for whoever the victims; and whoever is affected would not be affected by his presence."

Barcinas says Cepeda is no longer working under the church, but says he doesn't know when the investigation into Cepeda was completed. The Archdiocese meanwhile will not say when they contacted Child Protection Services, the Attorney General's Office and Guam Police Department to report the allegations of abuse against Cepeda.

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