Fr Juan Guillen – Diocese of Tucson

Father Juan Guillen

Diocese of Tucson

Ordained: 1974

Removed: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Yuma (1982-1985)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Somerton (1985-1986)
  • Immaculate Conception Parish, Yuma (1986-2002)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Juan Guillen:

According to media reports, in July 2003, Father Juan Guillen was convicted of attempted child molestation of three boys and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was also given lifetime probation for another count of attempted child molesting. Father Guillen pleaded guilty to both charges in a plea agreement.

Before the plea agreement, Father Guillen had faced four counts of child molesting and eight counts of sexual conduct with a minor after admitting to having oral sex with and masturbating with altar boys. He was charged with sexual contact with young boys beginning in 1989 with a boy who was 10 years old at the time. The criminal complaint filed against him in 2003 alleged sexual conduct with another 10-year-old victim in 1994. The third boy was 13 when he was allegedly molested in May of 2003. The alleged sexual activity occurred in Yuma as well as Mexico and Salinas, California, according to a court document. 

In one instance, according to an August 2002, Yuma Police Department report, Father Guillen allowed a group of altar boys to sleep in his room at Immaculate Conception Church in Tucson during the summer of 1994 before they took a bus to Disneyland the next morning. During the night, Father Guillen stripped a 14-year-old boy and “attempted to anally penetrate (the victim). He tried in several positions, but was unable to and finally stopped and put (the victim’s) pants back on.” Two weeks after the Disneyland trip, the report continued, Father Guillen “masturbate(d the victim) with one hand. Father Guillen gave oral sex to (the victim) until (the victim) ejaculated in his mouth.” 

One boy was repeatedly raped by Father Guillen from age 8 to 15. Father Guillen continued molesting and sexually assaulting another boy into his high school years. When his parents moved periodically to Salinas and Father Guillen visited, he slept in the boy’s room, as he was a trusted member of the family, 

“It’s hard for people to understand what a priest used to mean to us,” he testified. “He was like God on Earth.”

By 2004, seven men, three sets of brothers who were all children of Mexican farmworkers, filed four civil suits. Some of the abuse was alleged to have occurred in the Diocese of Monterey in California. Some claims were included in the 2005/2006 settlement in Tucson, Arizona. 

In 2005, Father Guillen was removed from priesthood.

The trial of one suit filed in California was set for June 2009. It alleged abuse of one boy for years by Father Guillen and Father Velez, beginning in 1988 when boy was age 8 years old. It was settled in May 2009 for $1.2M. 

In October, 2011 he was released from prison. He reported to Yuma County probation offices as required but then disappeared and is believed to have fled to Mexico. He is on the Yuma County most wanted list.

In January 2019, his name was included in the Diocese of Monterey’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted a report to the Diocese in 2003 of abuse in 1992.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Tucson. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Tucson, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Tucson now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.