Embattled Archbishop Apuron fights for dismissal of sexual abuse cases

 

Diocese of Agana Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron continues to fight for dismissal of sexual abuse cases against him in U.S. District Court and in his most recent communication with Guam by video from an unknown location has also singled out one of his alleged victims for a specific denial.

 

Apuron has asked for additional time to file an objection to a recommendation by Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan that the lawsuits should not be dismissed.

 

Apuron's attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje has argued that a recent Guam law abolishing the statute of limitations on such cases doesn't apply to these cases that are alleged to have occurred decades ago.

 

Archbishop Apuron, a former parish priest in Agat, is accused of molesting or raping four altar boys--one now deceased in the 1970s.

 

Apuron has been undergoing a canonical trial at the Vatican, though the intense secrecy around the proceeding has not revealed what he is specifically accused of.

 

In his brief video message, in English and Chamorro, Archbishop Apuron blamed newspaper advertisements soliciting alleged victims who later filed lawsuits against him. He also named one of the alleged victims:

 

"As you know, there has been a series of attacks against myself and the Catholic church for the past three years. As predicted just four days ago, these malicious ads have resulted in false accusation of sexual abuse. I deny all allegations of sexual abuse by Roy Quintinilla. I humbly ask for your prayers and encourage all of our faithful to pray for me and for those behind this concerted effort to injure our Catholic church. I will continue to defend the faith and give my life for the truth."

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