Thursday, May 16, 2019


(Posted by frenchie)

Right when we all thought things were getting better at the Archdiocese, 
we are painfully reminded, that just because we swept some unpleasant things under the carpet, it does not mean that things are all well under the sun.
Far from it, as you shall see.

The alleged rape of a 12 year old girl by an employee of Mt Carmel School just threw a huge ripple in the calm waters that appeared to have settled around us.

What seems to be the issue?

As we presented yesterday, Kandit News, the online news network has been investigating an alleged rape by a custodian of the Mt Carmel School of a 12 years old female student.

What do we know so far?
We know that the rape did not take place on the premises of the School, but rather on a parking lot at GPO in Tamuning on a Friday, back in November.
We know that it was reported by fellow students of the girl to the parents.

From here, it is still confused  on what happened between the moment of the alleged incident and the time it was reported the following Monday, which is in contravention of the Child protection law. (there are time limits for the reporting of such incident)

The press secretary for the Chancery Tony Diaz has made several declarations to Kandit News regarding this case, but the least we can say, it is that his statements were confused and confusing.
There is a strong possibility of course, that he has not been given all the information necessary by people in the know. I shall come back to that.

Meanwhile Kandit News has interviewed Mr Sarmiento from the School, the GPD  the Child protection agency and the governor's office, as well as the Attorney General.

So far it appears that according to the GPD and the Governor's office no report was filed with the GPD.Or if one was filed, it cannot be found at this time.
As you can see , it appears that there are several areas of confusion.

What has the chancery done so far?

 That is a very good question, there are many zones of mystery.

As of now the Chancery does not recognize, and/or had not be made aware by the reporting parties that there was an issue.
According to Mr Diaz, as far as he knows this is just a case of inappropriate relationship between an adult and a minor.
The adult in question is no longer employed by the school.
It sounds as if for the administration at the Chancery, the case is closed and they did all the appropriate reporting, even though Mr Diaz admits that the Archdiocese did not reach out to the parents of the girl.

So, what is the problem?

Lets go back and review what we know, that both Guamblog, and Kandit News did not report on.

The alleged incident took place back in November of 2018

We are aware on Junglewatch that during that period of time, Archbishop Byrnes was traveling on the mainland, both for personal reasons, and to attend a meeting of the USCCB, which ironically enough was attempting to streamline their policies regarding child abuse, and how to create channels to better report these issues and avoid future coverup.

While Archbishop Byrnes is absent the two persons in charge of the Diocese are the Chancellor and the Vicar General.
During that period, this would have been Paul Fisher and Fr Jeff San Nicolas.

The proper channel of reporting for the school principal, after he enacted an initial inquiry would be to notify the superintendent of Catholic Schools.
So far, the Chancery has not clarified if that was the case, or if Mr Sarmiento the Principal of Mt Carmel did indeed report to the superintendent of Catholic Schools, or if he first notified the owner of the School (attorney Phillips).

This last issue is very important because if the chain of command was properly followed we should not have in principle the mess we have now, and the obvious lack of knowledge from the press secretary.

What did Mr Sarmiento actually do?

From the different testimonies that have surfaced, we know that the child was interviewed by the Principal either before the Monday after the incident or after, that is not yet clear.
We do not know if the parents of the child were present at the time of her interview by the principal.

Here lies the first issue:
  • During the interview the child actually told the principal that she had been dating the Custodian for more that two months.
  • Why on earth then did Mr Sarmiento concluded that this was only a custodial interference?
A relationship of a child of less than 14 years of age with an adult (she is 12) is considered as rape, because the law considers that a child that age, does NOT have the intellectual capacities to choose on her/His own.

2 We still do not know who filed the report with both the GPD and the CPS 
Was it the principal Mr Sarmiento?
Was it the office of the Superintendent of Catholic schools? 

3 In any case, was the filing done with the knowledge of the Chancellor and the Vicar General?

Were both the Chancellor and the Vicar General told  afterwards.

This is important because if either the Principal or the Superintendent filed the report the way they did, after they consulted with the Chancellor and the Vicar General, then we have a huge problem.

Why would the Chancellor (a trained Lawyer) and the Vicar General would choose to file a custodial interference after they were made aware that the adult was dating this child for several months already?

If they did so, this would be grossly negligent.
  1. On a purely moral point of view
  2. because it would go against the Archdiocese own instructions
  3. because it would amount to a false report
Finally when the Archbishop came back from his trip, was he made aware of this case? 
What was he told?
The little we know about Archbishop Byrnes is that he is a person of principles.
If he was given the true picture, it seems he would have taken corrective action.

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