The number of priests accused of sexually abusing #children on Guam decades ago, reached 10 on Monday after a woman sued, saying she was sexually abused by the now-deceased Father Juan Camacho when she was 14, around 1972.
The Guam resident, named as T.G. in court documents, said the #priest asked her to serve as a receptionist at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo. At one point, she alleged, Camacho took her into his office, locked the door behind her, asked her about her #school work and whether she had any boyfriends, and then sexually abused her.
T.G., 59, alleges Camacho continued to force himself on her after she resisted, and only stopped when she began to cry.
At the time, the priest assured T.G. and her parents that she would be able to do her homework while working as a receptionist, the complaint filed in the Superior Court of Guam states.
T.G. is the 50th person to file a Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit in either local or federal court.
Camacho is the brother of Monsignor Zoilo Camacho, who allegedly ignored sex abuse complaints by an altar boy.
A lawsuit filed in March states the monsignor ignored former altar boy Anthony Flores’ complaint that another priest, Louis Brouillard, was abusing him and other boys. The monsignor, according to the Flores complaint, told him, “be quiet and get out of my office.”
T.G.’s attorney, Kevin Fowler of Dooley Roberts Fowler & Visosky LLP, said the complaints by T.G. and Flores raise serious questions about how the archdiocese handled complaints regarding priests.
“We have heard from a number of plaintiffs who allege they told priests that they were being abused and were ignored. T.G. initially came forward because she believes Father Juan Camacho likely abused other girls, given how aggressive he was with her. But her story raises serious questions about whether Monsignor Camacho ignored complaints about Father Brouillard abusing children because he knew his own brother was abusing children,” Fowler said in a statement.
Fowler’s co-counsel, Seattle-based Michael Pfau, of the law firm of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC, said this isn’t the first time he’s seen these types of allegations, which suggest priests may have covered for others.
“Our firm has helped hundreds of abuse survivors around the country. People want to know how it happened on such a wide scale, but stories like these start to show how. We have seen brothers cover for other brothers, and priests who engaged in misconduct cover for other priests,” Pfau said.
T.G. filed her complaint using her initials because she wants to protect her privacy, but said she hopes her case will help other abuse survivors come forward.
“It was really hard to come forward, but now that I have, I hope men and women hear my story and realize that they can come forward,” T.G. said in a statement. “The only way to hold the church accountable is for all of us to come forward so that everyone understands what happened and how it happened.”
T.G.’s complaint demands a jury trial. Although the complaint alleges sexual abuse by Father Juan Camacho, he is not being sued, only the Archdiocese of Agana, along with was many as 10 unnamed people who may have aided, abetted, concealed, ignored or covered up the abuse. The archdiocese confirmed Monday that Juan Camacho is now deceased.
Archdiocese of Agana priests who allegedly abused children, based on 50 lawsuits filed thus far:
- Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron
- Retired Saipan Bishop and former Guam priest Tomas A. Camacho
- Former priest Rev. Louis Brouillard
- Former priest Rev. David Anderson
- Former priest Rev. Raymond Cepeda
- Former priest Rev. Joe R. San Agustin or Andrew San Agustin
- Rev. Andrew Manetta
- Rev. Antonio Cruz
- Rev. Sigmund Hafemann
- Rev. Juan Camacho