Source: USA Today
Editor’s note: Some details in this report, while important to the understanding of the story, are graphic. Also, the USA TODAY Network does not identify alleged sexual abuse victims who do not wish to come forward.
HAGÅTÑA, Guam — It started off innocently: a 15-year-old boy helping out at San Miguel, a local church named for Archangel Michael, the leader of all angels.
There was yardwork and cleaning, followed by invitations to the rectory to eat and watch TV. Soon, there were offers to drink sacramental wine and watch X-rated movies. Then sexual assault.
More than 50 times over three years.
By the parish priest.
Those jarring allegations come from a recent lawsuit claiming assault from 1985 to 1988. It is one of nearly 100 lawsuits that describe rampant child sexual abuse by some of Guam’s most revered men: the Catholic clergy.
An investigation by the USA TODAY Network’s Pacific Daily News unearthed allegations of decades of assault, manipulation and intimidation of children reared on this remote, predominantly Catholic U.S. territory. Among the accusations: a boy fondled on the way to his grandmother’s burial, and another molested for the first time on his seventh birthday, then raped or assaulted 100 more times.