Monday, 15 May 2017

Latest child sex abuse victim files suit against Catholic school and former teacher

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Former St. Anthony Catholic School music teacher, Ray Caluag, is the latest offender named in the recent complaint.

Guam - After 65 reported lawsuits against the church, the 66th is the first to file a child sex abuse complaint against a Catholic school and a former teacher.

There's strength in numbers, and more abuse victims are finding the courage to speak out about the once-unspeakable acts that were committed against them when they were innocent children frozen into silence.

Last week saw a total of 65 child sex abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Agana and former clergymen. Yesterday, another complaint was filed, but this time, a former Catholic school teacher was named as the offender.

Ray Caluag was a music, drama, and religion teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School, an Archdiocese of Agana-run elementary and middle school supervised by the Sisters of Mercy. 

The purported victim, using the initials B.W.J., represented by Atty. David Lujan, was 11 years old and in the 7th grade in 1993 when he claims the abuse took place. B.W.J. was part of the school’s Christmas play while taking drama class, of which Caluag was director. B.W.J. and other students had to stay back after school to rehearse, and would often be dropped home by Caluag afterwards.

It was one day when B.W.J. needed a ride home after rehearsal that the incident occurred. Caluag dropped off other students first, but told his last student, B.W.J., that he needed to stop by his home before dropping him off. Caluag was a well-respected teacher who was seen as a trusted mentor by B.W.J. and his family, so B.W.J. agreed, suspecting nothing of it.

At Caluag’s home, he asked B.W.J. to play video games while he waited. After a while, Caluag sat on the bed next to B.W.J. and asked him to lay down. Because Caluag was an authority figure, B.W.J. obeyed. Caluag caressed him and digitally penetrated him, telling B.W.J. not to tell anyone because they “wouldn’t understand the type of love I have for my students.”

After the incident, B.W.J. avoided Caluag for the rest of the school year, and transferred to another school for his 8th grade year.

According to Saint Anthony School’s principal, the current faculty and staff were not around during the time Caluag was a teacher, and did not know of him until this complaint surfaced. Caluag was also the music director at St. John’s School for a number of years before moving to the Philippines, where he formed the New Marikina Chamber Orchestra last year, whose membership consists entirely of youth.

The Archdiocese of Agana released a statement offering their prayers to the victims of child abuse. You can read that statement by clicking on the attachment below.

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