Former Church Chancellor Accused of 15 Years of Abuse
By Mindy Aguon
Guam Daily Post
May 7, 2018
|CRISTOBAL: Father Adrian Cristobal, the former Archdiocese of Agana chancellor and former pastor of San Vicente/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada. Photo courtesy of Umatuna Si Yu'os|
A 33-year-old man has come forward alleging he endured nearly 15 years of sexual molestation and abuse at the hands of Father Adrian Cristobal, the former Archdiocese of Agana chancellor, leading him to drugs for self-medication.
A lawsuit filed in the District Court of Guam by J.C.C., who used initials to protect his identity, alleges the abuse began when he was 11 years old and an altar boy at San Vicente Ferrer/San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada, where Cristobal served as parish priest and continued until 2013.
J.C.C. was raised in a religious family whose members were devout Catholics and active in the church.
Beginning in 1995, J.C.C. was repeatedly sexually molested and abused by Cristobal and the boy was forced to perform sexual acts on the priest at San Vicente School where he attended classes, the Barrigada parish, the Maina parish where Cristobal was later assigned, Cristobal's private residence, Cristobal's vehicle, and Cristobal's private beach in Ipan, the civil complaint states.
For the first few years, the sexual abuse happened almost every day while J.C.C. would help before or after Mass, the lawsuit states. The priest would give J.C.C. and other altar boys money to buy food at Subway or get snacks at a store.
The boy had been changing after serving Mass when Cristobal taught him how to properly tuck in his shirt and allegedly used the opportunity to fondle and grope the minor.
As the sexual abuse progressed, the boy would try to fight off Cristobal and he would try to run away but the priest would block and lock the door, causing J.C.C. to be terrified because "he had to go through three rooms and three locked doors to escape," the lawsuit stated. "As a young boy, J.C.C. feared for his life and sometimes thought Cristobal would never let him out."
During a retreat at the beach, J.C.C. was required to sleep in the same tent as Cristobal, other priests/deacons and some of the other boys. While in the tent, Cristobal allegedly sexually abused and molested the boy.
Escalating pattern of abuse
The abuse escalated from fondling, groping, masturbation and oral copulation to penetration, the lawsuit alleged.
Cristobal seized every opportunity to molest J.C.C., said attorney David Lujan, who represents the victim.
On one occasion, J.C.C. was called to Cristobal's office where he found the priest allegedly watching porn on his laptop and masturbating. The complaint alleges Cristobal pulled the boy on his lap and started performing sexual acts on him and forced the boy to perform sexual acts on him.
After saying Mass for the elderly at St. Dominic's in Barrigada Heights, Cristobal allegedly took the boy on several occasions to a secluded lookout and forced the boy to perform sexual acts.
Lujan said his client kept silent about the abuse because he was ashamed and embarrassed.
"He did not how to handle the pain he was enduring and acted out, rebelling and using drugs, which resulted in his getting kicked out of San Vicente Catholic School," the lawsuit states.
In 1997 or 1998, at the age of 14, J.C.C. quit serving as an altar boy but was required to attend confirmation classes where he tried to avoid Cristobal.
The civil complaint alleges Cristobal continued to reach out, and contacted J.C.C.'s family and requested his help around the parish. The boy did not want to go but obeyed because his family didn't have money and most of the time, Cristobal agreed to pay the boy for his help.
Cristobal would force himself on the boy and would not pay him until the boy fulfilled the priest's sexual desires, court documents stated.
The sexual abuse continued even after Cristobal was assigned to the Maina parish in 2011.
It's alleged that J.C.C.'s drug problem worsened as he turned to drugs to self-medicate. "When he learned that J.C.C. had a drug problem, (Cristobal) took advantage of it and would use the money to lure J.C.C. in exchange for sexual pleasure," court documents state. This alleged activity continued until J.C.C. was 25.
Similar complaint against Cristobal
This is the second civil complaint accusing Cristobal of sexual abuse.
A man with the initials L.J.C. filed a similar civil complaint alleging he had been sexually abused by Cristobal while serving as an altar boy between 1995 an 1997.
Cristobal is still listed as a priest under the Archdiocese of Agana's clergy directory, but remains "on mission."
Archbishop Michael Byrnes has called for Cristobal's return in light of the sexual abuse allegations as well as his alleged mismanagement of Chancery funds and the seminary.