A personal story of sex, drugs, and the Archdiocese of Agana

For 29 years, I have wondered how the multiple rapes I endured as a Saint Anthony School student by a teacher affected me. I was a drug user for most of those three decades. Naturally, I wondered whether my addiction had anything to do with the rapes. It’s a question I’ve asked myself since I stared down the tube of a glass pipe for the first time, when I was 19 years old. That was 23 years and many therapy sessions ago. And only two weeks ago did the answer come to me.

It’s taken me several days to consider whether I would tell you this story. It is deeply personal, and reveals to you the final demons – secrets my mind has withheld from me for so long – that will always dwell in me. The reason I’m sharing this is that I’m not the only one. I’m among a sea of drug addicts and survivors of sexual assault in our islands. I’m also among the hundreds of victims of the Archdiocese of Agana’s coverup of child rape. A recent statement by the Archdiocese tipped my decision to talk about this. And so, here are my demons.

I’ve spoken extensively about my drug use, and I’ve told you the story of my rape by a former Saint Anthony School teacher and vice principal named Ray Caluag from 1993 to 1994. What I’ve never been able to tell you is how the two are related. That’s because I could never make the connection until two weeks ago. The mind is extraordinary like that. Our biology is a thing of wonder. Whenever something traumatic – like a gunshot wound – happens, our central nervous system orchestrates to protect the brain and the heart first; and if it must, it will sacrifice some lesser organ, like the skin or the kidney. The same thing happens, when we are psychologically traumatized. The brain protects itself.

If you’ve ever been sexually assaulted for a prolonged period, or even the victim of repeated domestic violence, you’ll understand what I have to say next. Your mind becomes your prison. It is the worst part of the experience. And if this happens before your brain is fully developed in adulthood, things can go very wrong, and for a long time, you won’t even realize what it is or how it all connects.

It took me nearly 30 years to come out of the prison my mind created. It’s been nearly 30 years since Ray Caluag brought me – a 13-year-old boy at the time – to his Tumon condo to rape me for the first time. It would be the first 20 to 30 times I’d ever have sex. Before it happened the first time, I was not a sexual person at all. When it was done, I never thought to consider how that trauma distorted my view of sex, and the demons that could be awakened if those distortions became uninhibited.

For those of you familiar with meth use, you understand that the drug causes different reactions among users. For most meth users, the drug simply helps them to focus. Then there are the minority of meth users, who have become the banner children of the drug. These are the people who undergo a dramatic transformation in character and behavior. They go from nice people to people who will steal and hurt loved ones. And finally, there are those of us who loved the drug because the second we inject it, our sexual inhibitions melt. For those of us, whose experience of sex was inhibited and distorted by childhood rape, what ensues is an absolute promiscuity and depravity we never would engage in otherwise.

I belong to that category: the addict who depended on ice to unlock a sexual appetite discolored by the trauma of the rapes as a child. I was depraved. Thankfully, my depravity never led me to desire children. Even still, my promiscuity and appetite for orgies and pornography consumed me throughout my decades of drug abuse.

I’ve been sober for a while now. I’ve had nearly no sexual appetite, and that made me curious about myself. I thought, something must be wrong with me. And there is. My worldview of sex was tainted by a child sex predator, inhibited, and then inflamed for two decades of drug-induced uninhibited sexual monstrosity. My mind protected me from the trauma, but kept me in the dark to the demons growing inside of me.

A few days ago, Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood signed off on a settlement agreement between the Archdiocese of Agana and nearly 300 victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests and teachers within the Archdiocese. I’m one of the claimants.

I’m also among some of the claimants who spoke up about the abuse at the time it was happening. In 1994, I told a teacher about the rapes, and that teacher told the principal of St. Anthony School, Sr. Kathleen Sarmiento. Sr. Kathleen in turn called the police and my father. She also told the archbishop at the time – Anthony Apuron. I filed a police complaint, which has since gone missing from the police department, except for a case number locked in a file at the former Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, where I was examined shortly after the report.

The Archdiocese knew sine 1994 about the multiple rapes one of its own committed, and did nothing to provide me – a student of theirs – with any kind of services. Worse, the Archdiocese did nothing to bring Ray Caluag to justice. According to what police and the Office of the Attorney General told my father in 1994 and again in 1995 and again in 1996, they could not apprehend Ray Caluag because he had fled to the Philippines. But that wasn’t true, according to his former colleagues at St. Anthony. According to them, nuns within the Sisters of Mercy helped Caluag to flee Guam to San Francisco, where they helped to house him while the statute of limitations ran out.

Indeed, in 1997 – three years after the final rape – Ray Caluag was back on Guam. I know this because I saw him being escorted by then-Notre Dame High School principal Sr. Regina Paulino, who had hired him to teach music at the school. I called her after school and told her my story. She threatened me that if I was lying, there would be consequences. She called me back about an hour later and told me – without any apology – that she spoke with the Chancery and the archbishop and that they were aware of what happened. She said she decided not to hire Ray Caluag.

All of these people knew – people whom Catholics on Guam came to look to for spiritual guidance – and none of them extended even a whisper of apology, hope, or help. The only person they helped was Ray Caluag. And it made sense, it its own sick way. Caluag’s mother was the powerful director of the Chancery’s ministry on families and marriages, Dr. Josie Caluag. And this is not to mention that mine wasn’t the only scandal the Archdiocese was covering up. I wasn’t the only boy molested by one of their own. Apuron himself stands accused of raping boys.

And because the Archdiocese helped to cover up the scandal, Ray Caluag was free to keep himself close to children. In December 2002, his mother walked into the office of then-Governor-elect Felix Camacho, where I worked. She handed to his chief of staff at the time – Bernadette Sterne – a letter asking that he intervene to get her son hired at Maria Ulloa Elementary School in Dededo. I told Bernadette about what he did to me, and she and Governor Camacho stopped the hiring from happening. Other school communities wouldn’t be so lucky. For several years and before the headmaster knew about his past, Ray Caluag worked with young boys at St. John’s School in Upper Tumon. Once I found out, I called there to tell the headmaster what he did to me, and Caluag soon fled to the Philippines, where he is a teacher in Marikina.

I have been in a multi-decade failed effort to keep Ray Caluag away from children. This is what Saint Anthony School and the Archdiocese of Agana should have done from the very beginning. Instead, they covered it up. And if you think the culture of coverup has ended in the archdiocese and at Saint Anthony, think again. The school very recently covered up a sex scandal riddled in nepotism and the same disregard for victims the archdiocese and the school have displayed for decades.

When I look at that school, I see the rooms where I was raped and the corners I would hide to keep from his gaze and to ignore his calls. When I look at that school, I do not see a place that is safe for children. I see a house of horrors. I see the monster in my mind, and the distortions that led to my addiction to sexual depravity; an addiction that for decades I thought was protecting my heart, but instead was rotting my mind.

And it isn’t just me. And it isn’t just 300 men and women on Guam. There are thousands, possibly millions of us throughout the world who have been victims of the coverups of dioceses globally.

After Judge Gatewood approved the settlement agreement, the Archdiocese, through its vicar general, Father Romy Convocar, issued a statement that read in part, “On behalf of Archbishop Michael Byrnes, and the entire archdiocese, we apologize to the victim survivors for the severe harm that the former priests and church members did to them.”

There was something glaringly missing from that statement. Johnnie Rosario wrote to archdiocese spokesman Tony Diaz to ask whether the archbishop and the archdiocese also apologizes for the severe harm the archdiocese itself caused the abuse survivors by systematically covering up the abuse.

This wasn’t just Apuron. It wasn’t just Saint Anthony School. An entire system of priests, nuns, and lay people knew and looked the other way. They saw us suffering. They watched us grow up to be drug addicts. They saw some of us become sexual predators. They did nothing, when some of us took our lives. They did nothing. They did nothing but cover it up.

In his response to Johnnie Rosario’s inquiry, the archdiocese still will not admit to the coverup. He stated, in part, “The archdiocese apologizes to the men and women for the deep suffering inflicted upon them by members of the clergy and laity of the Church. We ask forgiveness as well for the grave failure of the Church then to protect them, acknowledge the abuse and to respond immediately.”

Nothing about the coverup.

Now comes a lawsuit by one of the victims that seeks to hold the Vatican accountable for allegedly participating in the coverup. In my laymen’s view of things, I, too, wonder how it is possible the Vatican did not know what was going on. It was happening everywhere around the nation, and in dioceses throughout the world. As I understand it from a trusted source, the Vatican has no administrative jurisdiction over the various dioceses outside the Diocese of Rome. But that doesn’t mean the Vatican didn’t know. That it didn’t look the other way the same way there was a systematic coverup of the scandals throughout the Archdiocese of Agana.

As for me, for 29 years, all of these people did nothing but look the other way. And that continues. For 29 years, I have been left by this archdiocese to figure it out on my own. To battle demons I didn’t realize I had. And now that I do realize what they are, my healing can truly begin. These are my demons, and I am exposing them to the light. I wish and pray the Archdiocese of Agana would do the same about itself.

God bless you, and good night.


  • Troy, With sincerest hope that you and all the men and women, tormented by the demonic actions of these monstrous criminals, finally find peace and solace.

    It has been uncovered that this heinous practice has been going on even at the top echelon of the Catholic Church. The Vatican and our faith is not what we were taught and led to believe all these years. I believe in Our Creator, God. Beyond that I lost hope in my faith.

  • Troy,
    With sincerest hope that you and all the men and women, tormented by the demonic actions of these monstrous criminals, finally find happiness, peace and solace.

    It has been uncovered that this heinous practice has been going on even at the top echelon of the Catholic Church. The Vatican and our faith is not what we were taught and led to believe all these years. I believe in Our Creator, God. Beyond that I lost hope in my faith.

  • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s sickening to have had so many not only look the other way but to lie on top of it and make you out to be the problem, not these predators. So very sick. You are a walking miracle that you have arrived where you are now – speaking about this, sober, and from how this is written of sound and intelligent mind. God bless you and those who went through the same – always.

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