Retired Saipan bishop accused of sex abuse in Guam

By Mindy Aguon
Guam Daily Post
February 13, 2017

A retired bishop of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy for at least three years until the victim ran away.

Melvin Duenas, a Yona resident, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Guam this afternoon against the Archbishop of Agana, retired Bishop Emeritus Tomas Aguon Camacho, and Louis Brouillard, a former priest who worked at parishes and schools on Guam.

Camacho was a member of the clergy of the Agana Archdiocese who became a priest in June 1961 and ordained a bishop in January 1985. He served as bishop until he retired in April 2010 and currently serves as bishop emeritus for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chalan Kanoa in Saipan, the main island of the CNMI.

In the complaint, which seeks a minimum of $5 million in damages, Duenas alleges he was repeatedly sexually molested and raped by Camacho. At the time, Camacho was the priest for the Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan.

Duenas was promoted to the chief of the altar boys at the age of 10, and Camacho sought and obtained permission from Duenas’ father to have the boy live in the guest room a the St. Joseph Rectory in Inarajan, court documents state.

From approximately 1971 to 1974, Duenas was “repeatedly sexually molested and raped by Camacho," court documents state. Camacho would lock Melvin in Camacho’s bedroom and force (him) to undress” and perform sexual acts. “This happened on almost a nightly basis,” court documents state.

Duenas alleges he was also sexually molested and abused by Father Louis Brouillard who was the priest at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj. “On many occasions, while Brouillard was saying Mass, he would be completely naked under his robe,” the complaint states.

Sometime between 1974 and 1975, Duenas ran away from the Inarajan Rectory “in an effort to escape the torture from being repeatedly sexually molested and raped,” the lawsuit states.

The complaint states that Duenas, while in Saipan, in 2006 to 2007 attempted to contact Camacho “in an effort to seek closure.” Despite leaving messages, notes and emailing the Cathedral in Saipan, Duenas received no response.

This latest case is the 17th sexual abuse lawsuit filed by attorney David Lujan in the District Court against the Archdiocese of Agana and by extension the Vatican.


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