Priests are supposed to be authority figures who represent an ambassador between God and his followers, so how can a person in such a holy position commit such heinous acts of child abuse? Rev. Louis Brouillard is an example of a man who abused his position in the Catholic church to molest young boys, dozens of them. In fact, over 60 men have come forward to claim Brouillard sexually abused them as young boys.
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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">USA Today</span>
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The now-retired priest lives in Minnesota but the victims he abused for years were in a tiny Pacific island where he worked as a priest for a Catholic church in Guam. Brouillard is a 96-years-old Minnesota native who is now facing tearful victims as they reveal their memories of sexual assault at the hands of the former priest. He lived in Guam for over 30 years before being transferred in 1981 to the Duluth Diocese. Brouillard served as a priest at three churches while he brought teen boys from Guam to live in his apartment.
David Lujan, an attorney representing the abuse victims said, "The unbelievable thing is after Brouillard was finally forced to leave Guam, he was able to influence certain families to send their kids to Minnesota. There were at least three or four kids. Parents thought it was OK. This was a priest from their parish, offering a chance at education." A court record shows Brouillard signed a document in 2016 acknowledging he was guilty of abusing at least 20 young boys. Brouillard wrote in the document about a sex education class he once taught. "Looking back, I realize I crossed the line with some of my actions and relationships with the boys," he wrote. "At the time, I did believe the boys enjoyed the sexual contact."
A former Catholic priest and investigator for Minnesota clergy abuse attorney Jeff Anderson said, "Then they tried to hide this guy in the woods of northern Minnesota, and hoped the abuse would never come out." Brouillard is just the latest example in a pattern of the Catholic church dealing with abusers by sending them to poor undeveloped nations. His ability to serve as a priest was revoked in 1985 by the Duluth Diocese "after questions were raised about a guest from Guam staying with him." Even after the abuse allegations and court proceedings, Brouillard has not been defrocked.
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Even now, Brouillard lives across the street from a Catholic school playground and the sound of children's laughter can be heard from his porch. Leo Tudela was the first of his victims to go public and he testified before the Guam legislature during a debate about lifting the statute of limitations for child abuse. "All these evil incidents have stuck in my mind for some 60 years, and to this day, I still have nightmares and continue to re-live those events as if it happened only yesterday," Tudela testified. "Terrible things come to my mind … I have cried on many occasions since."
The court case against Brouillard is ongoing but his victims are still in limbo when it comes to closure. "I feel cheated and molested by people who were supposed to be … God’s guardian angel," Tudela said. "They were supposed to be representatives of God."
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