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  Religious Brother Charged with Child Porn in Joliet

By Stanley Ziemba
Chicago Tribune
August 14, 1998

A Joliet man, who belongs to a Catholic religious order and was arrested earlier this year in Cook County on charges of indecent solicitation of a child, has been arrested by Joliet police on child pornography charges.

Robert Brouillette, 56, a member of the Roman Catholic Congregation of Christian Brothers, surrendered to police late Wednesday and was charged with 10 counts of child pornography.

The charges, according to Joliet police, stem from an April search of Brouillette's Joliet residence, 958 Western Ave., during which police said they found computer diskettes containing child pornography.

The search of the residence, which is owned by the religious order, followed Brouillette's arrest by Cook County sheriff's police in a southwest suburban restaurant on April 19.

Brouillette, according to Cook County sheriff's police, went to the restaurant thinking he had arranged via the Internet to have sex with a 12-year-old boy. Instead of finding a child waiting for him, however, he was met by Cook County sheriff's police who arrested him on a felony charge of indecent solicitation of a child.

Cook County police said at the time of the arrest that they were alerted to Brouillette's use of the Internet for sex-related purposes in early April by police in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire police told Cook County investigators that they had been monitoring sexually explicit discussions by Brouillette in an Internet chat room.

After the tip, Cook County sheriff's police said that one of their investigators then posed as a 12-year-old boy and signed on to the same chat room and began communicating with Brouillette, eventually arranging to meet him at the restaurant.

A warrant for Brouillette's arrest in Will County, after the discovery of the diskettes in his Joliet home, was issued July 22, but he wasn't arrested until now because he was out of town, Joliet police said.

After surrendering and being booked, Brouillette posted $25,000 bond and was released. He is scheduled to appear in Will County Circuit Court on Sept. 15. Brouillette also had posted bond after his arrest in Cook County.

As a Christian Brother, Brouillette worked in an administrative post out of an office adjacent to Brother Rice High School on Chicago's Southwest Side. However, according to officials of his religious order who run the high school, he was not a member of the faculty and, consequently, had no direct contact with students.

 
 

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