The former altar boy left the church after he was turned away while seeking help.
Guam – The most recent sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Agana details sexual abuse that went on for a period of 8 years. The former altar server says he even reported the abuse to Archbishop Anthony Apuron and former Chancellor Father Adrian Cristobal but was “shunned away.”
It is perhaps the longest period of sexual assault that has been reported since the scores of sex abuse lawsuits have been filed, and it appears to be the most recent–the allegations took place between 1992 to 1999.
Filed by now 40-year-old P.P., the alleged sexual assault happened at the Santa Barbara Catholic parish in Dededo—the alleged abuser, now defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda.
P.P. says it began when he confided in Cepeda as a trusted mentor. Instead of helping the 15-year-old aspiring priest, Cepeda “took advantage of his vulnerability.”
In the beginning it was rather subtle, according to the complaint, with Cepeda initiating sexual contact by running his fingers through P.P.’s hair, massaging him or touching his buttocks.
The victim says Cepeda then gradually became more sexual by fondling and groping him on a daily basis. That then led to masturbation and oral copulation which then ultimately became penetration, according to the complaint.
The sexual abuse happened regularly, according to the victim, for a period of 8 years. Finally, sometime in 1999, P.P. had had enough and demanded Cepeda stop.
But it doesn’t end there. The victim then sought help from respected authority figures within the Archdiocese, but, he claims, he never got the help he wanted. P.P. reported the abuse to now-deceased Msgr. Zoilo Camacho who told the victim to meet with Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
“During P.P.’s meeting with Apuron, Apuron told P.P. that ‘P.P. needs to pray about these types of evil in the world and that P.P. would get over it, if he prayed about it,” the complaint states.
The victim says he also reported the abuse to Father Adrian Cristobal, who at the time was the spiritual director, but according to the victim he was “shunned away.”
P.P. is seeking $5 million in damages.