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John Toves unable to meet with archbishop

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - He came to Guam to confront the archbishop, but things didn't go exactly as planned for John Toves. It was two weeks ago Toves called KUAM Radio, accusing Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexually molesting his relative in the early 1980s.

They are allegations the archbishop has vehemently denied and in statement with KUAM News last Friday he planned to file a defamation lawsuit.     

Despite the archbishop's plans to file a defamation lawsuit, Toves isn't backing down. Thursday morning he went to the chancery to confront the archbishop, instead he was met by Father Adrian Cristobal, who said, "Actually, the archbishop is not available today he is fully booked so he is not able to take any appointments today so do you have a contact we can take?" Toves responded by saying, "Why don't I just make the appointment now?", to which the priest said, "We will call you."

Toves was then allowed to meet with Archdiocese of Agana's sexual abuse response coordinator Deacon Larry Claros. Claros coincidentally was appointed two weeks ago, around the time the allegations surfaced.

After meeting with Deacon Claros, Toves expressed his dismay as it appears there's not going to be an investigation. The deacon told KUAM News, "There is no investigation these are just allegations brought forth by Mr. Toves and the review board has met to go ahead and look at these allegations and see if there is anything and there is none."

According to Deacon Claros the review board consists of five people namely:  Dr. Juan Rapadas, dr. George Kallingal. Sister Trini Pangelinan, Maryles Benavente and Vince Pereda. It was on November 21st Toves wrote to Deacon Claros reporting the alleged abuse of his cousin. "If anyone is going to give allegations that the responsible person needs to surface and make the accusations he or herself versus a third party," said Claros.

Deacon Claros also noted the fact that there had been no report to local authorities about the alleged sexual abuse, adding, "As far as I know this is the first I've heard of any allegations and it is a very, very sad state right now that the leader in our community is going to go through this scrutiny however I do believe and I am very confident that truth will prevail."

In response, Toves says Claros is biased and that his complaint is not being taken seriously "He is supposed to be the independent person," he shared. "Their claim is that he is the independent role but yet he is speaking for the archbishop."

Toves says he doesn't plan to give up and will continue efforts to meet with the archbishop.  

There's no word on when the archbishop will file the defamation lawsuit or who he plans to file it against. Toves however has told KUAM that he welcomes the lawsuit. As well, a statement from the Archdiocese reads, in part, "The Archdiocese of Agana acknowledges receipt of the concern of Mr. John C. Toves. The established policy of the Archdiocese is being adhered to. Pursuant to this policy, and to clarify the issue, the matter is currently under review"

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