Diocese of Monterey Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million to Former Altar Boy in Molestation Case

By Sunita Vijayan
Salinas Californian
May 29, 2009

The Diocese of Monterey today agreed to pay $1.2 million to a former alter boy who claimed that officials mishandled child-molestation allegations he levied more than a decade ago.

Attorneys for both parties met this afternoon for more than four hours before settling the lawsuit brought forth by "John Doe."

The suit claims that Rev. Juan Guillen of Tuscon, Ariz., and John Velez molested him from 1988 through 1994.

"We've settled with it, which means we don't think it's worth dragging it to court," said Diocese spokesman Warren Hoy.

Hoy said the settlement is not an admission of guilt by the diocese.

"We're better off settled. It's better for the family," he said. "It's better for the diocese."

The complaint alleged that the Diocesan leaders had known about Guillen's and Velez's history of molesting children and did nothing to report the incidents to the appropriate authorities. Moreover, the suit alleged that the Diocese instead moved the priests into other positions in other parishes.

Named as defendants in the case were two priests, the Diocese of Monterey, and two churches in Salinas, Christ the King Church and St. Mary of the Nativity.


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