Former S. Fla. altar boy says he was forced into orgies with priests

sun-sentinel.com & the Associated Press
Posted May 6 2002, 4:58 PM EDT

HOLLYWOOD – A former altar boy sued the Vatican, the Archdiocese of Miami and two Roman Catholic priests on Monday, saying he was forced to participate in orgies with priests as a teen-ager 30 years ago.

The new lawsuit filed against Father Ricardo Castellanos and Father Alvaro Guichard is in connection with a three-decade-old sexual abuse case, according to the law offices of Herman & Mermelstein, which is located on Stirling Road.

The former altar boy is 45-year-old Jose Albino Currais Jr. He is the second male to come forward claiming he was a victim of the two priests while they worked at the Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables.

The suit alleges Currais, then around 15, was sexually abused by the two priests, then forced to join a sex ring and sexually service visiting priests over a three-year period.

Currais said he told numerous people over the years about the abuse, including friends and his therapist, but never went public because of the shame.

``I didn't want to be here, I don't want to be here. I am here to stop this from happening to other kids,'' Currais said, noting that Castellanos and Guichard are still priests in South Florida.

Currais also said he could have sued anonymously, but ``the only way to handle this is to confront this and say my name.''

Currais specifically charges that both Castellanos and Guichard hosted orgies at the Church of the Little Flower where the priests had sex with numerous teen-age boys.

Currais also alleges Castellanos operated a teen prostitution ring where he and other boys had sex with visiting seminarians from Rome.

The abuse occurred between 1971 and about 1974, Currais said. He is seeking unspecified damages in the suit which was filed in Circuit Court in Fort Lauderdale.

Archdiocese of Miami spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said Monday she could not comment on the allegations because the archdiocese had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.

Guichard now works at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Miami Beach. Castellanos is pastor at San Isidro Catholic Church in Pompano Beach.

The new allegations against the two priests come just two weeks after Rita Chinchilla and Miguel Chinchilla Sr., of Coral Gables, filed the lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court, alleging that Miguel Chinchilla Jr. was repeatedly molested in the 1970s by two priests who remain active in the local archdiocese.

Chinchilla Jr. died in 1993 at age 31 after years of drug abuse and promiscuous sex that his family said was triggered by the abuse.

Church officials in Miami denied the charges, as did Guichard and Castellanos. All of them said the family is hoping to make money. They specifically point to a 1988 affidavit signed by Chinchilla Jr. in which he exonerated the priests and said he was pressured by a therapist to make up the allegations.