Priest on Apuron investigation accused of sexual harassment

Pacific News Center

By Janela Carrera – August 4, 2017

“The Vatican is full of notaries. They could’ve chosen a million other ones to go to Guam. They didn’t have to choose Justin Wachs.” — Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director.

Guam – An alarming twist has surfaced in the canonical trial of Archbishop Anthony Apuron–Father Justin Wachs, one of the investigators from the Vatican who worked on Apuron’s sex abuse case, has been previously accused of sexual harassment but this was never disclosed before Father Wachs paid the Archdiocese of Agana a visit back in February.

Father Wachs was among three Vatican officials who visited Guam back in February with the goal of taking depositions from the alleged victims of ousted Archbishop Anthony Apuron. His role was as a notary—essentially, a note taker.

While no statements were taken during that trip, the tribunal eventually took depositions from other Apuron accusers in the mainland and Hawaii. As it turns out, Father Wachs is no stranger to allegations of sexual misconduct himself. Back in 2014, Wachs was accused of sexual harassment by a parish employee in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“We have copies of the letters he wrote the woman. We have memos of the meetings where guidelines were set. We have all kinds of stuff that was laid out. We have the alleged victim’s recorded–these meetings,” said Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

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