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Second Lawsuit Filed Against Tucson Diocese In Guillen Case

Aug 14, 2003 | Arizona Daily Star

Three young men who say they were sexually abused by a Yuma priest while they were altar boys are suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson for an unspecified amount of money.

The legal action filed this month in Yuma County Superior Court is the second lawsuit to be filed against the diocese naming the Rev. Juan Guillen as an abuser.

The lawsuit marks the 10th legal action to be filed against the local diocese since it reached a multi-million dollar settlement last year with 10 men who said they were abused by four members of the local clergy.

According to the lawsuit, the local diocese had warnings as far back as 1992 that Guillen showed inappropriate behavior with young men. Yuma police have evidence that Guillen was abusing boys throughout the 1990s and as recently as last summer.

"We recognize the attorneys for these plaintiffs have been the attorneys in other suits, and they are forceful advocates for their clients,'' diocese spokesman Fred Allison said. "But there are characterizations and representations that are not accurate or fair and the diocese welcomes the opportunity to work with the attorneys and their clients on clarifying those statements."

Guillen, 59, is now in state prison serving a 10-year sentence for attempted child molestation. He was arrested last summer after two brothers from a devoutly Catholic Mexican-American family came forward to report that Guillen had abused them throughout the 1990s.

Two more brothers the two in the recent civil action came forward after the first set of brothers reported the abuse to police. Cadigan believes Guillen sexually preyed on at least 20 young men.

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