Article from USA Today.
HAGATNA, Guam — One of two additional clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed Wednesday said a now-deceased priest kept nude photos of “numerous altar boys” and priests “committing sexual acts on minors.”
Tomas Afaisen De Plata and Richard Daniel Scroggs’ separate complaints bring to 26 the total number of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed thus far against the Archdiocese of Agana and Catholic clergy.
De Plata, now 62, said the now-deceased Rev. Antonio C. Cruz sexually abused him as an altar boy multiple times around 1963 to 1965 when he was 11 to 13 years old. He and Scroggs are represented by Attorney David Lujan.
The complaint says Cruz handed him an envelope with $50 in exchange for not saying anything about Father Louis Brouillard taking a photo of Cruz while performing a sexual act on De Plata at the rectory of the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.
De Plata’s brother Ramon also earlier filed a clergy sex abuse lawsuit. Tomas De Plata said Cruz also sexually abused their youngest brother, Fermin, now deceased.
Tomas De Plata said Cruz kept a box of nude pictures of numerous altar boys, including of himself.
“There were also nude pictures of Cruz, Brouillard and other priests, committing sexual acts on minor boys. Not knowing any better, Tomas burned the box of pictures out of fear that someone would see them and never returned to the Chalan Pago Parish for as long as Cruz remained the priest,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint also says priests’ sexually predatory norms “were an integral part of the standards and culture generated by the central authority of the Roman Catholic Church based in Vatican City, Italy, which closely controlled the operations of the Agana Archdiocese.”
In the other complaint, Scroggs, now 57, said Cruz frequently sexually abused him on parish grounds when he was 11 to 12 years old. Cruz died in 1986.
Both complaints filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam demand a jury trial and $5 million each in minimum damages.
If you or someone you care about was sexually abused and you would like advice from an attorney about the rights and options for victims of child sexual abuse, please contact Crew Janci LLP today for a free, confidential consultation at 1-888-407-0224 or by using our private online form. We will treat you with discretion and respect.