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  Home :: 2007 February :: Hawaii diocese settles to avoid sex-abuse trial
http://www.guampdn.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070120/NEWS01/701200317/1002
 
Hawaii diocese settles to avoid sex-abuse trial
Matter involves former Guam pastor

HONOLULU (AP) -- The Catholic Diocese of Honolulu has reached anout-of-court settlement with a Honolulu man to avoid a sex-abuse trial.

EltonKillion had accused Andrew Mannetta, a former pastor of St. ElizabethChurch in Aiea, of unwanted sexual misconduct from 1997 to 2001 when hewas a minor.


Mannetta also served as a priest on Guam for about six years in the 1980s, according to Pacific Daily News files.

The church will give Killion $375,000, according to Killion's attorney David Gierlach.

''Weare pleased that an opportunity to resolve this matter presenteditself,'' said the Rev. Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu. ''The legalprocess is long and painful. Drawing this dispute out in a prolongedcourt battle would not be in the best interest of the plaintiff, churchor Andy Mannetta.''

Gierlach said the settlement will allow Killion, 25, to move on with his life.

"We'repleased that the church takes responsibility for the misconduct of oneof its own and we hope this is a new day in the Roman Catholic churchwhere sex-abusing priests are no longer tolerated by the institution,"Gierlach said.

The lawsuit alleged that Mannetta served Killionalcohol and engaged in unwanted kissing and sexual assault. Thecomplaint said Mannetta used his authority as a Roman Catholic priestto facilitate his conduct.

Originally from New York, Mannettafirst came to Guam in 1980 as a seminarian working in Our Lady of Peaceand Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago, according to PDN files.

Mannetta chose Guam as his first assignment after he was ordained into the priesthood in May 1983.

Whileon Guam, he also served as the pastor of the Santa Teresita Church inMangilao, the Our Lady of Assumption Church in Piti. He also opened theGuma San Francisco homeless shelter in Hagåtña, PDN files state.

The Archdiocese of Agana was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Mannettamoved to Oahu from Guam in 1993 and became pastor of St. ElizabethChurch in 1994. But he resigned as pastor in 1997 to begin his own"preaching ministry," visiting various church parishes, the CatholicDiocese has said. Mannetta was reassigned to New York in 2002.

The Mannetta case was the latest legal settlement lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct by the Catholic clergy in Hawaii.

EugeneSaulibio settled a lawsuit in 2005 that accused the Rev. Joseph BukoskiIII of sexually assaulting Saulibio when he was 15 years old.

CatholicChurch officials in Hawaii in 2004 reached settlements in lawsuitsagainst Manuel Feliciano, a sacristan who pleaded guilty to molesting aboy at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Honolulu, and the Rev. Roberto deOtero, who was accused of molesting two boys at St. John the BaptistCatholic Church.



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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia