Yet another priest has been accused of sexual abuse, the late Father John “Jack” Nilan, the 12th priest named out of the Archdioses of Agana.
A release out of the Archdioses of Agana states, “With sadness once again, the Archdiocese of Agana acknowledges that a new allegation and lawsuit related to clergy sexual abuse has been filed in local courts this week. In the lawsuit naming the archiocese and Capuchin Franciscan order, a person listed by the initials J.E.L said she was sexually abuse by the late Father John “Jack” Niland in 1976 when she was 10 years old.”
The late Capuchin priest of the Agat Parish has been accused of exposing himself to the then 10 year old victim J.E.L. According to court documents, the victim was plaing alone on her family beach in Agat when she was allegedly approached by a heavy set American man wearing a priest collar who identified himself as Father Jack. Niland then allegedly asked her if she wanted to see his “gun” before exposing his genitalia and then masturbating in from of the 10 year old. In addition, according to court documents, Niland allegedly stated, “its like a real gun because it can shoot.” The victim then says that the late priest asked her if she wanted to hold it and because she did not respond, he allegedly zipped up his pants and told her that he will be seeing her at Eskuelan Pale Sunday School. The victim says, the incident caused her fear and anxiety when seeing Niland and she requests 5 million dollars in damages.
In the statement released out of the AOA, Archbishop Michael Byrnes sends his prayers to J.E.L and all those who have come forward. “The archdiocese is committed to providing justice and reparation to victims of child abuse in our Church and ensuring that all children are fully protected from abuse or harm of any kind.”
The late Father John “Jack” Niland passed away on August 5th, 2009 at the age of 59, and Attorney David Lujan has stated that if he was still alive, the Capuchin Priest would have been held responsible for the alleged sexual assault.