Catholic Priest In Court In Guam On Child Sex Abuse Charges


Pacific Daily News

“In response to a lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse, former priest Andrew San Agustin filed a counter-claim stating that he has been harmed by the accusations against him and asking a court to award damages for pain and suffering.

San Agustin, now known as Joe R. San Agustin, is representing himself in the case. In documents filed in federal court Wednesday, he denied allegations that he sexually abused a girl from Saipan, referred to by the initials B.T., in 1963. She is seeking $5 million in damages.

B.T., represented by attorney David Lujan, said in her April 2017 lawsuit that San Agustin extended an invitation to her parents to have the girl and her younger sister accompany him to Guam for a vacation in the summer of 1963, when she was 12.

Pain and suffering

San Agustin, who voluntarily left the priesthood, said in his response that “as a direct result of plaintiff’s false accusation” he suffered embarrassment, shame, smearing of his character, distrust among his friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as tremendous pain and suffering to his wife and family.

In his filing, San Agustin said he’s entitled to exemplary and punitive damages, in an amount the court may reasonably determine.

“Defendant denies that he sexually molested and abused B.T.,” San Agustin said in his formal response.

San Agustin, a resident of Toto, recently was served with a copy of the summons and complaint, after U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood gave the parties a deadline to serve legal documents to named defendants.

The former priest said in his filing that he denies extending an invitation for B.T. to vacation with him, and denies offering to buy airline tickets for the girl and her sister.

San Agustin also agreed to the plaintiff’s request for a jury trial.”

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