Lawsuit: Archdiocese still pays Brouillard

By Haidee V Eugenio
Pacific Daily News
December 19, 2016

The Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña as shown in 2014.

A lawsuit alleges that the Archdiocese of Agana still sends regular retirement payments to former Guam priest Louis Brouillard, who is accused in seven of the 13 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed so far against the archdiocese and current and former Catholic priests on Guam.

Brouillard has publicly admitted to sexually abusing at least 20 boys while he was on Guam, from the late 1940s to 1981. Brouillard was ordained as a priest at the Archdiocese of Agana in 1948.

“Despite the prolonged and egregious sexual abuse, spanning a period of several decades, neither the Agana Archdiocese nor the Roman Catholic Church ever formally disciplined Brouillard, and in fact have paid and continued to pay up through present time, sums of money to Brouillard on a regular basis, ostensibly under the guise of a retirement stipend,” states the Dec. 16 lawsuit filed against Brouillard, the Archdiocese of Agana and up to 50 other unnamed people who may have helped, abetted, concealed or covered up Brouillard’s sex abuse of minors.

The latest clergy sex abuse lawsuit alleges that Brouillard repeatedly sexually molested and abused James A. Bascon in or about 1968 or 1969 , when Bascon was an altar boy at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj and a member of the Boy Scouts of America.

Bascon is now 60 years old and lives in Inarajan.

Bascon is represented by Attorney David Lujan of the law firm Lujan & Wolff, which has filed all 13 clergy abuse lawsuits.

According to the latest lawsuit, Brouillard would say Mass at the Malojloj Parish while completely naked under his robe. Brouillard was a priest at the parish and scoutmaster for the Guam chapter of the Boy Scouts of America, the lawsuit states.

“During the period in which he served as an altar boy, James was repeatedly sexually molested and abused by Brouillard,” the complaint states.

The complaint also alleges that Brouillard sexually abused Bascon and others during Boy Scout weekend activities.

Brouillard, in a signed statement, said Guam Catholic Church leadership, including then-Archbishop Apollinaris W. Baumgartner, has known for decades about Brouillard's sex abuses of minors. Brouillard said his only form of punishment for molesting at least 20 boys at the time was to say prayers, as instructed by Baumgartner.

The continued payment to Brouillard, according to Bascon’s lawsuit, comes three years after the Diocese of Duluth in Minnesota listed Brouillard as one of the priests who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of young people while serving in the diocese. Brouillard now lives in Minnesota.

As of Monday, the Archdiocese of Agana has yet to respond to questions about whether it continues to pay Brouillard.

In August, Brouillard said he retired as a priest more than 30 years ago but he said he continues to receive checks from the Archdiocese of Agana. At the time, he said, the latest check he received was for $550. Brouillard’s first admission to the media of his sexual abuses of altar boys came days after former altar boy Leo Tudela, now 73, publicly accused him of abuse during a legislative hearing.

Tudela was the first to file a sex abuse lawsuit against Brouillard. Besides Tudela and Bascon, the five former altar boys and former Boy Scouts that have accused Brouillard of sexual abuse are Norman J.D. Aguon, Bruce Diaz, Vicente Perez, Vicente San Nicolas and Anthony Vegafria.

Bascon’s lawsuit demands a jury trial of six and and unspecified amount of damages for child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring and retention, and breach of fiduciary duty/confidential relationship.

The clergy sex abuse lawsuits are possible after Gov. Eddie Calvo signed a law on Sept. 23, lifting the civil statute of limitations for those accused of abusing children, as well as the institutions that supported them. Besides Brouillard, other accused priests include Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron who is undergoing a canonical trial at the Vatican, and David Anderson, a former priest in Sinajana and former teacher at Father Duenas Memorial School.

Pope Francis named a successor for Apuron, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes.

Byrnes headed back to Detroit, Michigan for the holidays and will be back on Guam for a more permanent stay in January. As coadjutor archbishop, Byrnes has the right to succeed Apuron should Apuron retire, resign or be removed.



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