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Another batch of clergy sex abuse cases heard...some defendants no-show

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Roy Quintanilla started it all, as he announced in 2016, "I have been silent for 40 years mainly because I thought all this time I was your only victim and because I was embarrassed, humiliated, degraded, and terribly confused about what to do. I thought if I said anything that people would not believe me or people would retaliate against me for coming forward. Archbishop Apuron, I will not be silent anymore."

This week marks one year since the first victim of clergy sex abuse surfaced. Quintanilla is now joined by nearly 70 others who are suing the Archdiocese of Agana. In some cases involving former priest Father Louis Brouillard, the Boy Scouts of America and Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council Chamorro District are also named defendants.

On the docket today, 11 cases. For those involving Father Antonio Cruz, plaintiffs' counsel David Lujan clarified for the court they aren't naming his as a defendant because he passed away in 1986. As for Raymond Cepeda who was defrocked, Lujan says they have yet to formally serve him. "We tried. We think we know where he lives but our processor can't seem to find him," he said.

A similar case for Brouillard who Lujan states "I don't think we've served him. We attempted to depose him through his counsel but that fell apart."

While some defendants were no-shows, counsel for the Boy Scouts was present today, attorney Patrick Civille noting they've filed a motion to dismiss. Patrick Civille said simply, "Read it. It's fascinating reading."

The motion calls the Guam law that lifts the civil statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases unconstitutional. Counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana was also present, attorney John Terlaje echoing the sentiments of his clients. "It's unfortunate that its happening for the island of Guam, for the people. The Archdiocese of Agana is approaching each one individually and again hope that it works out for the victims 0042 as well as for the archdiocese and the island of Guam," he stated.

"I understand that the plaintiffs lawyers are in contact with the hope and healing process and hopefully in that process they're able to come with some settlement if possible."

Attorney Lujan has up until June 2 to prove the District Court of Guam has jurisdiction over his cases. For cases in which he can't prove jurisdiction, he'll have to re-file at the Superior Court of Guam and start all over again. But as we reported, most of the local judges have disqualified themselves from hearing any clergy sex abuse cases due to close ties with the Catholic church.

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