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mercoledì 8 marzo 2017

Archdiocese, Boy Scouts knew of child sex abuse

Father Louis Brouillard was born in 1921 and was ordained in 1948. The Diocese of Duluth included Brouillard on its list of clergy members with credible allegations of child sexual abuse. (JEFF ANDERSON & ASSOCIATES)

A lawsuit naming the Boy Scouts of America as a defendant in a child sex abuse case that occurred on Guam decades ago, and involving a former scout and altar boy, was filed in the Superior Court of Guam yesterday.

While previously filed lawsuits named the Archdiocese of Agana as a defendant in similar lawsuits alleging abuse of former altar boys, yesterday's filing was the first recent child sex abuse case on Guam to directly name the Boy Scouts of America and its Aloha Council as defendants.
Anthony "Tony" Flores, 55, a former altar boy and boy scout, alleges in the lawsuit he reported sexual abuse to the archdiocese when he was 16, but was told to "be quiet."
In addition to the Boy Scouts of America and the archdiocese, the lawsuit also names the alleged abuser, Louis Brouillard, a former priest who served on Guam, as a defendant.
The Yona resident alleges Brouillard used his position as a Catholic priest and Boy Scout leader to sexually abuse him when he was 16 "multiple times in multiple occasions," including at an annual Boy Scout Jamboree and in a car while traveling to a baptism and other church-related activities. Brouillard was assigned to the San Vicente Ferrer Catholic Church.  
Flores is jointly represented by Dooley Roberts Fowler & Visosky LLP and Michael Pfau of the mainland law firm of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC.
Last week, the Boys Scouts' Aloha Council, based in Hawaii, responded to a previous request for comment from The Guam Daily Post on another child sex abuse victim's case.
Brouillard had been banned from any role in the Boy Scouts, its Aloha Council stated. Guam's Boy Scouts falls under the Aloha Council.
Fifteen claims of sexual abuse of children filed recently allege that Brouillard, while on Guam, used his position in the local Boy Scouts chapter to prey on young boys in the 1970s.
"The behavior included in these allegations is abhorrent and runs counter to everything for which the Boy Scouts of America stands," said Jeff Sulzbach, chief executive officer of the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council. "Upon learning of these reports, we took immediate action to preclude this individual from any further participation in the scouting program."
'Be quiet and get out of my office'
The complaint yesterday alleges that Flores told Monsignor Zoilo Camacho, who was the head pastor at the San Vicente Ferrer parish, that Brouillard was sexually abusing children at the church. The allegations included that Brouillard forced a young boy to perform oral sex on him, the lawsuit states. Flores alleges that Monsignor Camacho "snapped at him" and told him to "be quiet and get out of my office."
"I complained because I wanted to try to protect the other boys and I want to make sure they know I tried to protect them. If other people complained, or if other people know the Archdiocese or Boy Scouts were aware of what he was doing, I hope they will come forward, too," Flores said in a statement released by his lawyers.
Flores named the Boy Scouts of America and the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts because the organization and the council allegedly knew or should have known that Brouillard was a "sexual predator of young boys." The lawsuit states that "it was well-known for years that Brouillard used his position as scoutmaster to take boys swimming in the nude and to sexually abuse young scout campers during overnight and day trips."
Other allegations
The complaint further alleges that in the 1920s, the Boy Scouts of America began keeping records of adult volunteers that it deemed to be "ineligible" to volunteer for various reasons, including "perversion with children." Between 1964 and 1985, the organization had created 1,123 "perversion" files regarding Scout leaders who were alleged to have molested one or more children.  
Those files, the complaint alleges, included a 1971 report that Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 32, David Joseph Ellington, had initiated sexual contact with two young boys at the U.S. Coast Guard Naval Station on Guam. Ellington relocated to Arizona, where he attempted to re-enroll in the Boy Scouts.
Flores alleges he and other children were never warned about the danger of sexual abuse in scouting.
The complaint also alleges that in 1976, a Boy Scout executive admitted in a confidential, internal memorandum that the organization's existing policies and procedures were "not working to protect boys from being sexually abused by scout leaders."
Attorney: Archdiocese should release files
Attorney Pfau, who has represented sexual abuse survivors in the United States in cases against the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, said he is interested to see how the two entities handle the lawsuits.  
"If the archdiocese wants to be transparent, it should release its files on Father Brouillard and other priests who have been accused of molesting children," he said. "The church has done this in Chicago and other places, so there is no reason the archdiocese cannot do it here.

Lawsuit: Archdiocese, Boy Scouts knew of abuse 
  • One of two additional clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed Wednesday said a now-deceased priest kept nude photos of “numerous altar boys” and priests “committing sexual acts on minors.”
    Tomas Afaisen De Plata and Richard Daniel Scroggs’ separate complaints bring to 26 the total number of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed thus far against the Archdiocese of Agana and Catholic clergy.
    De Plata, now 62, said the now deceased Rev. Antonio C. Cruz sexually abused him as an altar boy multiple times around 1963 to 1965 when he was 11 to 13 years old. He and Scroggs are represented by Attorney David Lujan.
    The complaint says Cruz handed him an envelope with $50 in exchange for not saying anything about Father Louis Brouillard taking a photo of Cruz while performing a sexual act on De Plata at the rectory of the Our Lady of Peace and Safe Journey Catholic Church in Chalan Pago.
    De Plata’s brother Ramon also earlier filed a clergy sex abuse lawsuit. Tomas De Plata said Cruz also sexually abused their youngest brother, Fermin, now deceased.
    Tomas De Plata said Cruz kept a box of nude pictures of numerous altar boys, including of himself.
    There were also nude pictures of Cruz, Brouillard and other priests, committing sexual acts on minor boys. Not knowing any better, Tomas burned the box of pictures out of fear that someone would see them and never returned to the Chalan Pago Parish for as long as Cruz remained the priest,” the lawsuit says.
    The complaint also says priests' sexually predatory norms "were an integral part of the standards and culture generated by the central authority of the Roman Catholic Church based in Vatican City, Italy, which closely controlled the operations of the Agana Archdiocese."
    In the other complaint, Scroggs, now 57, said Cruz frequently sexually abused him on parish grounds when he was 11 to 12 years old. Cruz died in 1986.
    Both complaints filed in the U.S. District Court of Guam demand a jury trial and $5 million each in minimum damages.

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