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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Former Fr. Duenas student from Saipan alleges Apuron abuse

In the mid-1990s, a Saipan family, hoping to get the best possible education for their son, "D.M." sent him off to Father Duenas Memorial School on Guam.

But according to a new lawsuit just filed in Guam Superior Court by Attorney Charles H. McDonald II, the 14 year old boy got an entirely different and life affecting education of a different kind at the hands of then Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron.

Since Father Duenas did not offer weekend boarding, it was arranged between the school and the archbishop that the boy would stay at the residence of Apuron, which he did throughout the 1994-95 school year. But according to the court filing, the first overnight was a frightening preview of what was to come. The document alleges that Apuron first came into the sleeping boy's room as if to check on his well being, but instead groped him sexually. Later, the boy awoke to find Apuron on top of him, raping him anally.

This action was to be repeated many times, but D.M., in line with the prominence of the archbishop, was afraid to tell his parents what was going on or seek help from others.

In addition to Archbishop Apuron, the suit also names the Capuchin Franciscan order and the Father Duenas School, saying the signs the boy was suffering abuse should have been obvious to the faculty and suggesting that personnel there were aware of the ongoing abuse.

At the end of the school year, D.M., while not explaining his reasons to his parents, refused to return to Guam and was instead sent to a school in Hawaii.

The suit's 'prayer for relief' requests a jury trial, but does not specify a dollar amount, asking for damages and other relief at the discretion of the court.

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