1st New Sex Abuse Suit Vs. Diocese, Priest Filed

Tucson Citizen [Tucson AZ]
May 24, 2003

The first lawsuit against a Catholic priest which alleges sexual abuse within the past decade, has been filed against the Diocese of Tucson.

Besides the diocese, the suit is against the Rev. Juan Guillen, parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma, who has been on administrative leave since Aug. 20.

The suit was filed in superior court in Yuma and seeks unspecified damages.

The Diocese of Tucson had not been served with the lawsuit yesterday and would not comment, said spokesman Fred Allison. "The diocese did report immediately the allegations," he said.

Guillen, 59, is in custody in Yuma awaiting sentencing on charges of molestation.

Last month he pleaded guilty to attempted child molestation charges in Yuma.

Guillen is accused of sexual conduct with young boys in 1989, 1994 and 2002.

He also was arraigned in Yuma Justice Court on a charge of sexual conduct with a minor. He is accused of sexual acts with a fourth-grade boy in 1999. The juvenile reported the incident to police April 11.

The suit was brought by one of the victims in those cases, but it is not known specifically which case.

"This is the first suit filed in connection with allegations ... that is contemporary," Allison said. "All other cases are more than 20 years old."

Guillen, a native of Peruban de Ramos, Michoaca, Mexico, was ordained a priest for the Missionaries of St. Joseph in 1974 in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

He has served as a parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Yuma since 1986.

He became a U.S. citizen in 1993.

He became a priest of the Diocese of Tucson in 1994


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