Priest Faces Sex Charges

By Dexter A. See
May 16, 2008

NATONIN, Mountain Province A Catholic priest here is now facing rape and acts of lasciviousness separately filed by two young girls who allegedly experienced sexual abuses from the priest on separate occasions.

As a result of the sexual abuse, one of the victims, Crystal, a 14-year old girl, the municipal social welfare and development office said she is now reportedly mentally impaired.

In her sworn statement, the victim narrated that the priest who is a native of Hingyon, Ifugao and assigned at the Catholic mission center here, allegedly bounded her arms and legs to a bed at the lay information center of the Natonin Catholic mission.

She narrated to agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that Madangeng then started abusing her despite her repeated pleas for him to stop the sexual acts.

Worst, the priest reportedly threatened the victim with harm and told her not to shout for help.

For sometime, the victim remained silent about her ordeal but she was frequently disoriented in school as well as in their home at times acting like her mind was away. She failed five subjects in school and her mother commented that she was acting like she was crazy.

The municipal social welfare office recommended the assistance of an efficient lawyer for the victim to regain self-esteem and for her to recapture some normal functions as an individual.

The expos of the victim prompted two other victims to come out to the open and reported a series of sexual abuses by the same priest.

However, one of the victims had agreed to settle out of court with the priest.

The priest allegedly tried his best to settle with Crystal's family but it seems that his efforts were in vain as they decided to pursue the filing of the rape charges against him.

Even the Bontoc-Lagawe mission, which supervises the parishes in Ifugao and Mountain provinces, also intervened in the case but they were not able to convince the victim's family to settle the charges and prevent another humiliation to the Catholic Church.

Municipal officials refused to comment on the incident, saying that it will be up to the court to rule on the sensitive issue.


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