Archdiocesan Review Board member quits over church's flawed sex - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Archdiocesan Review Board member quits over church's flawed sex abuse policy

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A member of the Archdiocesan Review Board has stepped down, and he says it's because there's a problem with the church's sexual abuse policy.

Vincent Pereda is one of five individuals appointed by Archbishop Anthony Apuron to serve on the Archdiocesan Review Board. And after over a decade on the board, Pereda called it quits on Wednesday. He submitted his resignation via e-mail to the church's sexual abuse response coordinator, Deacon Larry Claros. "When Deacon Claros called a meeting on Wednesday, I didn't see the point in attending a meeting that would not have a purpose," he stated.

"The main point I wanted to make when I came out with this is that the sexual abuse policy is a flawed policy because of the situation the board is in now."

KUAM News' look at the policy shows "By virtue of his office, the archbishop has ultimate authority over and ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the archdiocese sexual misconduct policy. That means, it's the archbishop who's calling the shots - even if he stands as the accused.

Pereda added, "The policy pretty much has the archbishop making all the decisions and determinations when it comes to handling sexual misconduct cases within the archdioceses."

Earlier this week, former Agat resident Roy Quintanilla alleged Apuron molested him 40 years ago, when Apuron was a priest at Mount Carmel parish and Quintanilla an altar boy.

But Pereda's not only stepping down, he's willing to vouch and testify on the stand to Quintanilla's credibility. Pereda is a clinical social worker and licensed therapist who's been in practicing for over 30 years. "I did not see any indication that he is lying or being dishonest. I thought his disclosure to the media was very credible," he said.

Pereda added, "What does he have to gain to come where he lives off-island to Guam and to fabricate or make a story up as serious as accusing the archbishop of sexual molestation. I don't see what he would gain from that. And just the way he describes what happened to him in the detail he provided, to me, he presented a very credible situation."

The last time the board convened, it was to investigate allegations made by John Toves, who accused Apuron of sexual harassment. Because the victim never came forward, the archdiocese never investigated.

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