Guam Judge Recuses Herself From Hearing Cases Against Catholic Church

Justice Cenzon has familiar ties to one of the accused in the sex abuse cases

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 6, 2016) – Judge Maria T. Cenzon announced in Superior Court Tuesday she will be filing a motion to recuse herself from overseeing the cases against the local Catholic church and Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who faces several allegations of rape and molestation.

Citing a conflict of interest, Cenzon said she intends to disqualify herself from case.

“I will be filing a disqualification and a new judge will be assigned to the case,” she told attorneys during a status hearing for two of the sexual abuse cases.

Archdiocese attorney John Terlaje explained Cenzon has familial ties with one of the appointments of the diocese’s finance counsel along with "a couple of other conflicts.”

Tuesday’s status hearing regarded Anthony J. Vegafria’s case against Father Louis Brouillard and Roy Quintanilla’s case against Apuron. Vegafria, a former altar boy and Boy Scout, was the 10th victim in recent weeks to publicly accuse and file a lawsuit against his Brouillard.

Vegafria, now 56, has accused Brouillard, 95, of repeatedly sexually abusing him between 1971 to 1974. Quintanilla was among first former altar boys this year to come forward against Apuron, who Quintanilla alleges abused him when he was a 12-year-old altar server for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Agat.

Terlaje said Tuesday that he expects there will be more accusers to come forward, adding that all parties are working to move the process along.

“Both parties are hoping to make this as efficient as possible,” he said. “There are 11 cases now and we assume there would be more. We’re working with both sides to move this along.”

Pacific Daily News
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