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Ex-altar boy refuses to testify at Vatican Guam abuse trial

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HAGATNA, Guam (AP) _ A former altar boy who has accused Guam’s longtime archbishop of sexually abusing him has refused to testify before a Vatican court headed by American Cardinal Raymond Burke on the grounds that he couldn’t have his lawyer present.

Attorney David Lujan said his client, Roland Sondia, met Thursday with Vatican officials who travelled to the Pacific island U.S. territory to take testimony in the trial of Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Lujan said it wasn’t in Sondia’s best interest to be questioned by several priests without him present.

Sondia may submit a written declaration instead.

Apuron faces multiple allegations of sex abuse of altar boys in the 1970s. He has denied the claims and has not been criminally charged.