Guam’s Catholic Church, which has already been under fire for burning sex abuse records in a “big bonfire,” was just implicated in a lawsuit involving the alleged conduct of a priest who admitted to sexually abusing about 20 kids.
The lawsuit states that Father Louis Brouillard, the now-deceased priest who signed an agreement stating that he sexually abused at least 20 children in 2016, sexually abused the plaintiff in the early 1970s. The complaint says that the man (identified only as “Y.Y.Y.”) is still “haunted” by nightmares of the alleged abuse, which reportedly occurred nearly 50 years ago.
The lawsuit was filed after the deadline to participate in the church’s upcoming bankruptcy-related settlement, according to a report from Pacific Daily News, but that doesn’t mean the Church is off the hook if a court rules in the plaintiff’s favor.
Brouillard, according to the latest lawsuit, invited the boy when he was about 11 or 12 years old, to join a Boy Scouts camping trip at Malojloj Falls, where the priest instructed everyone to get naked and then touched their private parts.
The lawsuit says Y.Y.Y. refused to get naked and refused to be touched by the priest, even with his shorts on.
But when Y.Y.Y. was alone with Brouillard in the San Isidro Church in Malojloj, the priest sexually abused the boy, according to the lawsuit.
Y.Y.Y. is asking for at least $5 million in damages and named “up to 47 other unnamed defendants” in the lawsuit. That’s because the plaintiff also alleges that the Church is responsible for Brouillard’s crimes.
The lawsuit says other priests and representatives of the archdiocese and Capuchins were aware of the sexual abuse that Brouillard committed, but deliberately remained quiet and withheld such information from third parties, including the victim’s parents and law enforcement.
Y.Y.Y., represented by attorney David Lujan, is the 273rd person to accuse a Guam priest or others associated with the Catholic Church of sexual abuse, based on court data.
Just to repeat that horrific number, he is the 273rd person to allege abuse at the hands of the Guam archdiocese.
To put that in perspective, the movie Spotlight, which focused on the abuse scandal in Boston, involved a community that saw 12 priest sex abuse lawsuits for every 100,000 people. In Guam, it’s roughly 166 lawsuits per 100,000 people.
Here’s hoping those victims get justice.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Renee for the link)