Priest who admitted to Guam sex abuses to give evidence this week
By Haidee V Eugenio
USA Today Network
October 29, 2017
|Father Louis Brouillard is shown in an undated photo from the Pacific Daily News archives. |
Former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, the only accused clergy member who has admitted to sexually abusing children on Guam, is scheduled to provide additional sworn evidence during his deposition in Pine City, Minnesota, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 3.
Brouillard, 96, is accused in more than half of the 141 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal courts against the Archdiocese of Agana, 16 priests and three others on Guam.
The parties in the clergy abuse cases are pursuing mediation to try to settle the lawsuits, which have been filed in the wake of accusations in 2016 of child sexual abuse by three former altar boys and the mother of a fourth against Archbishop Anthony Apuron. The archbishop was removed from the island in June 2016 for a Vatican trial that the Agana archdiocese believes has concluded, though the outcome remains unknown.
Lawsuit filings began in November 2016 after a statute of limitations was lifted on civil suits in child sexual abuse cases. In the course of the filings, Brouillard emerged as a central figure both in the accusations and in a signed written affidavit, an exhibit in some of the lawsuits, in which he admitted molesting more than 20 boys on the island.
Brouillard is represented by attorney Thomas Wieser of the law firm Meier, Kennedy and Quinn based in St. Paul, according to Agana archdiocese attorney John Terlaje. Wieser will be at the deposition.
Among Wieser's specialties are defense of sexual abuse claims, and church and religious laws, his law firm's website says. Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who is overseeing the Agana archdiocese in Apuron's absence, said Terlaje and Seattle-based co-counsel Michael Patterson will also be at the deposition.
Attorney David Lujan, the counsel for all plaintiffs who have sued Brouillard in federal court, is scheduled to attend the deposition, as are attorneys for those who sued Brouillard in Guam Superior Court. Brouillard left Guam for Minnesota in 1981.
Hawaii-based attorney Randall Rosenberg said their team will be sending an attorney to attend Brouillard's deposition. Rosenberg is working with Guam attorney Anthony Perez and other U.S. mainland-based lawyers to represent clergy sex abuse plaintiffs.
An attorney from Seattle-based firm Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, which is working with Guam attorney Kevin Fowler representing clergy abuse survivors, will also be at the deposition.
In phone interviews and in last year's affidavit, Brouillard offered his apologies to the boys he may have harmed. He said in the affidavit that Guam church officials at the time, including Bishop Apollinaris Baumgartner, knew of his activities and asked him to pray. He was ordained as a priest on Guam in 1948.
Despite Guam church officials reportedly knowing about Brouillard's abuses on island, Brouillard continued to serve as a priest in Minnesota, from 1981 to 1985, when he was removed from active ministry. In 1987, he retired to Pine City, where he still lives.
In 2013, the Diocese of Duluth released a list of priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse while serving in the diocese, and Brouillard's name was on that list. Three of the recent lawsuits accuse Brouillard, in the early 1980s, of flying boys from Guam to Minnesota, where he continued to sexually abuse them.