Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Retired Saipan bishop wants child sexual abuse complaint dismissed

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Retired Saipan Bishop Tomas Camacho wants the charges against him to be dismissed because nearly 50 years have passed since the alleged incident.

Guam - After being accused of raping a Guam altar boy in the early 1970s, the now-retired Saipan bishop, Tomas Camacho, of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, has moved to dismiss the complaint. 

55-year-old Melvin Duenas accused Camacho of locking him in a room when he was 10 years old, and sexually assaulting him almost nightly at the rectory of the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan when he was an altar server.

Camacho’s attorney, William Fitzgerald, filed in court documents that the claims made by Duenas are time-barred and were not revived by the passage of Guam Public Law 33-187 in 2016. 

Atty. Fitzgerald remarks “by retroactively changing the statute of limitations involving sexual abuse in Guam, the Guam Legislature unconstitutionally impaired vested rights, opened the door to unverifiable and potentially undefendable claims.”

He also argues that the 2016 law infringes upon Camacho’s vested rights and due process because almost five decades have passed since the alleged incidents occurred, citing “Camacho, by the enactment of P.L. 33-187 (2016) has had his vested rights in the passage of more than 30 years of the expiration of statute of limitations impaired,” adding “the attempt to revive a more than 30-year-old time-barred cause of action is impermissibly inorganic.”

Court documents state that Camacho is now 85 years old and cannot recall witnesses or specific facts from 47 years ago that would aid in his defense. Moreover, the motion says there may be no witnesses or physical evidence from that time frame.

 

You can view the full motion by clicking on the attachment below.

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