Religious Brother Facing Sex Charge

By Robert Becker
Chicago Tribune
April 21, 1998

When Robert Brouillette drove to a southwest suburban fast-food restaurant Sunday morning, he thought he had arranged over the Internet to have sex with a 12-year-old boy, authorities allege.

But instead of finding a child waiting for him, Brouillette, a member of the Christian Brothers order, was met by Cook County sheriff's police, who arrested him on a felony charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Brouillette, 56, who had previously been on the faculty at St. Laurence High School in Burbank, was working in an administrative post for the Christian Brothers, according to Cook County Sheriff Michael Sheahan.

Sheahan said Brouillette lived in Joliet in a Christian Brothers residence and worked out of an office adjacent to Brother Rice High School. High school officials said Brouillette was not on the faculty and had no direct contact with students there.

The Christian Brothers are a Roman Catholic lay order that teaches young people.

The charges against Brouillette, the third Internet-related arrest by the Sheriff's Child Exploitation Unit, are a reminder "that children using the Internet need strong supervision to protect them from this type of activity," said Sheahan.

According to Sheahan, the investigation of Brouillette began earlier this month after police in New Hampshire contacted his department and said they had monitored Brouillette engaging in sexually explicit discussions in an Internet chat room.

Sheahan said one of his investigators posed as a 12-year-old boy when he signed on to the same chat room and reported that Brouillette had initiated graphic sexual discussions with him.

Sheahan said the undercover officer made arrangements with Brouillette Friday to meet at a restaurant near 87th Street and Harlem Avenue, where according to police, the suspect "believed they would engage in a sexual act."

According to Sheahan, there wasn't any evidence that Brouillette used his computer at work for the alleged solicitation, but he said police have confiscated computer diskettes from his home and that the case was still under investigation.


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