28 Apr 2017
- By Mindy Aguon – For Variety
HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — A second victim has come forward alleging he was sexually abused by a former Guam Catholic priest, who later became bishop of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Bishop Emeritus Tomas A. Camacho, 83, is accused of sexually molesting and abusing a 10-year-old altar boy, while he served as the parish priest on Guam at the Nuestra Señora de las Aguas Catholic Church in 1962.
The victim, identified only by his initials, B.C., filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Guam on Tuesday against Camacho and the Archdiocese of Agana, seeking a minimum of $5 million in damages.
While serving as the parish priest in Mongmong, Camacho went around the village recruiting minors to become altar boys, court documents state. B.C. was told by his mother to help Camacho serve Mass at the age of 10, serving Mass once or twice a month and during benediction on Tuesdays when he was also required to clean up around the church and the rectory after Mass.
B.C. said he enjoyed being an altar boy because he could eat the leftover bread after Mass, which was stored at the rectory. He considered this a treat since his family was less fortunate and meals were usually limited and portioned, the lawsuit states.
In one incident, B.C. recalled eating bread in the rectory after cleaning around the church. He said he found pornographic magazines and started to look at them. Camacho walked in and caught him and threatened to tell the boy’s mother. The altar boy begged Camacho not to tell his mother and the priest allegedly sexually molested the boy who didn’t tell anyone for fear the priest would tell his parents, according to the lawsuit.
B.C. alleges Camacho sexually molested and abused him on “numerous occasions.”
Camacho was born in Chalan Kanoa and ordained as the second local Catholic priest there in June 1961. He served as a priest in Rota for two years between 1968 and 1970. He returned to Guam, where he was assigned to the parishes in Tumon and Inarajan, respectively. Following his time at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Camacho was then assigned to Agana Cathedral as the rector until 1976 when he was promoted to monsignor.
He was then assigned to Saipan as an Episcopal vicar and, in 1984, he was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, a position he held until he retired in 2010 and became bishop emeritus.
In February, Melvin Duenas filed a lawsuit against Bishop Camacho and Louis Brouillard, a former priest who worked at parishes and schools on Guam alleging he was sexually abused for at least three years before he finally ran away. The alleged abuse occurred when Camacho was the parish priest for the Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan in the 1970s.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/94855-second-victim-files-suit-against-bishop-camacho