Judge recuses herself from sex abuse case

By John O'connor
Guam Daily Post
November 16, 2016

Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola has recused herself from hearing a civil case filed by Leo Tudela against former Guam priest Rev. Louis Brouillard and the Archdiocese of Agana, stating that she was "closely related to several members of the Neocatechumenal Way, an organization within the Archdiocese of Hagåtña."

Sukola added that she is also a regular attendant in the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores Church in Tumon, which has exposed her to information regarding the case through prayers, announcements and petitions – specifically, a petition requesting that Governor Eddie Calvo veto Bill 326-33. That measure was ultimately enacted into law, lifting the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases, allowing Tudela and others to bring civil suits against the church and their alleged abusers.

Moreover, Sukola stated that she knew Archbishop Anthony Apuron personally. The archbishop is implicated in other civil cases from victims of alleged sexual abuse. Tudela, now in his 70s, levied similar complaints against Brouillard.

Brouillard statement

But while Apuron has denied the allegations against him, Brouillard has publicly admitted to abusing boys in his ministry. Supplements to Tudela's suits include a written statement from Brouillard in which he admitted to abusing boys in the 1950s and that Bishop Apollinaris Baumgartner, the bishop of Guam at the time, and others in the church knew about the abuse. 

The number of abuse victims could amount to 20 or more individuals, Brouillard stated.

With Sukola no longer able to oversee Tudela's case, the matter had been re-assigned to Judge Pro Tempore Linda Ingles as of Nov. 14.



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