SDA admits it knew teacher molested boy, accused of covering up other sex crimes throughout Micronesia

Guam’s Seventh Day Adventist organization’s equivalent of the Vatican to Catholics is being sued by an SDA churchgoer for knowing about and covering up his alleged molestation by an SDA teacher named Danny Dial. The plaintiff, identified in federal court documents only by the initials “AA,” was 16 years old when Mr. Dial allegedly molested him in Dial’s church-paid apartment.

At this time – the summer of 2012 – Mr. Dial was the Director of Education of the Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM) of the SDA. Another defendant named in the case is Louis Torres, who was GMM president from 2009 to 2020, and “was an agent of the General Conference.” The General Conference is the parent organization of the SDA, and is based in Washington, D.C. Another one of its agents, Steven Silva, also is named as a defendant. Mr. Silva held various positions with the GMM between 2009 and 2015, according to AA’s second amended complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam in late September.

According to this complaint, the sexual assaults occurred on a Thursday evening going into Friday some time before June 24, 2012. On June 24 and after learning from AA about the assaults, Mr. Silva told AA to “put in writing what Dial did to him, and to sign said letter.” AA did that.

Paragraph 33 of the second amended complaint states: “On information and belief, Torres showed Dial AA’s signed letter and asked him if it was true. Dial admitted to Torres that it was true and that he sexually abused AA.”

In GMM, Silva, and Torres’ answer to the second amended complaint, the defendants wrote: “Defendants admit the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 30, 31 and 33.”

Mr. Silva and Mr. Torres, along with GMM, admitted that in the summer of 2012, Danny Dial told Mr. Torres that AA’s allegations were true and “that he sexually abused AA.”

The first complaint did not name the General Conference as a defendant. It appears AA’s attorneys, including lead counsel Delia Lujan Wolff, discovered the involvement of the parent organization after the lawsuit was first filed.

Other details and accusations also are made in the second amended complaint, including Mr. Torres and Mr. Silva’s direct knowledge of the crimes, their deliberate coverup of the crimes, and their knowledge of “that sexual abuse of children was a problem that needed to be prevented.”

According to the new complaint, [P]rior to the abuse of AA, a child in an Adventist school in Majuro, a part of the GMM, was sexually abused by the principal of the school. However, Defendants took no action to prevent AA from being sexually abused by Dial.”

The complaint further alleges SDA continues to help Mr. Dial. “[S]ubsequent to leaving Guam, Dial has been teaching at a school owned by the SDA in the Kingdom of Thailand, apparently being moved from one SDA school to another.” Despite knowing about Mr. Dial’s alleged proclivities for more than 10 years now, “the Church just recently reported to the SDA School in Thailand that Dial is a ‘pedophile.’”

Furthermore, it is alleged that not only did SDA’s leadership at the time know about and cover up the sexual assault of AA by Mr. Dial, its president is alleged to have aggressively questioned AA about the matter when AA mustered up the courage to report the abuse.

“On June 26, 2012, AA, Silva, and Torres met at Silva’s house where Torres asked AA in an accusatory tone ‘if AA sells his body for money.’ As a result, AA felt extremely uncomfortable which made AA conclude Torres wanted to minimize AA’s claim or did not believe his story, causing AA to distrust Torres, and in turn Silva. At this point AA became guarded in further conversation with both Silva and Torres.”

AA, like some of the victims of Catholic Church clergy abuse in Guam, was not from Guam, and had no family here at the time. He came to Guam in 2012 from the Philippines to continue his education here, and was under the care of a guardian, who was a member of the church.

According to the complaint, GMM, the General Conference, Mr. Torres, and Mr. Silva all were aware that Mr. Dial had sexually abused “numerous other minors,” but continued to employ him, encourage his access to children, and to endorse his participation in SDA’s mission.

“By virtue of his unique authority and position as a teacher and Superintendent of Education for the Church, Dial, was able to identify vulnerable victims and their families upon which he could perform such sexual abuse; to manipulate his authority to procure compliance with his sexual demands from his victims; to induce his victims to continue to allow the abuse; and to coerce each not to report it to any other persons or authorities.”

AA is seeking a jury trial, no less than $1.5 million in general, special, exemplary and punitive damages, costs and fees incurred, and attorneys’ fees.


  • Imelda Tanapino

      12/20/2023 at 5:26 PM

    Is anyone really surprised to read about another child rape on Guam? After all, Guam has the 2nd highest rape rate in the USA.

    Statistically, on Guam, you are pretty likely to be standing in line next to a rapist at K Mart.

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