Guam – A 12-year-old girl who claims she was sexually abused by a priest should have been aware of the risk she was taking, including sexual abuse, when she agreed to go on vacation with the priest back in 1963 and she should have done everything she could to “prevent yet another assault.”
Those are some of the defenses offered by the girl’s alleged attacker, former priest Joe R. San Agustin.
San Agustin has filed a counterclaim against the alleged victim, who goes by the initials B.T., for the same amount she is seeking–$5 million.
In his counterclaim, San Agustin denies the allegations of abuse and says it’s caused him and his family pain and suffering as well as embarrassment, shame, smearing of his character and distrust amongst friends and family.
One of his affirmative defenses includes one that places the blame on the alleged victim. San Agustin says the girl and her mother should have been aware of the risks they were taking when the minor was allowed to travel with San Agustin to Guam from Saipan, including the risk of sexual assault.
Furthermore, San Agustin argues that by consenting to such possible risk, it constituted negligence on B.T.’s part.
“After the first time the sexual assault took place, Plaintiff should have taken every precaution to prevent yet another assault by complaining to the Defendant’s mother (at whose house the assaults took place) or by staying away from the Defendant, and alone in a room,” San Agustin, who’s representing himself, said in his answer.
In her complaint, B.T. says San Agustin coerced her parents to allow her and her sister to travel to Guam with the priest. While on Guam, B.T. claims San Agustin abused her the entire time while her sister was not present. B.T. says she never reported the sexual assault to her parents because she was afraid they wouldn’t believe her.
San Agustin agrees to a trial by jury and that all punitive damages requested by the alleged victim be proven at trial.
You can read San Agustin’s counterclaim here.