Fr. Juan Guillen – Diocese of Monterey

Father Juan Guillen

Diocese of Monterey

Juan Guillen Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1974

Removed: 2005

Assignment History:

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

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Juan Guillen:

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

Prior to the plea agreement, Fr. Guillen faced four counts of child molestation and eight counts of sexual misconduct 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 misconduct with another 10-year-old victim in 1994. The third boy was 13 when he was allegedly molested in 2003. The alleged sexual activity occurred in Yuma as well as Mexico and Salinas, California, according to a court document.

According to media reports, in August 2002, the Yuma Police Department reported that Fr. Juan 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, Fr. 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, Fr. Guillen “masturbate(d the victim) with one hand. Fr. Guillen gave oral sex to (the victim) until (the victim) ejaculated in his mouth.”

One boy was repeatedly raped by Fr. Guillen from age 8 to 15. Fr. Guillen continued molesting and sexually assaulting another boy into his high school years. When his parents moved periodically to Salinas and Fr. 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, Fr. Guillen was removed from the priesthood.

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

In 2011, Fr. Guillen 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 Monterey in California.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Monterey now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Monterey, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.