HAGÅTÑA, Guam – Louis Brouillard, the retired priest who was the subject of more than 130 sexual abuse lawsuits on Guam, died in Minnesota on Oct. 10, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.
He was 97.
Brouillard, a native of Minnesota, was ordained on Guam in 1948. He served here until 1981, as a parish priest in Mangilao, Chalan Pago, Barrigada and Malojloj and as a teacher at Father Duenas Memorial School.
He also served as a longtime scoutmaster on the island.
More than 130 civil cases filed in local and federal courts since 2016 accused Brouillard of rape, sexual abuse and sexual molestation. The most recent lawsuit filed against him was on Oct. 4.
In a 2016 interview with a Pacific Daily News reporter, Brouillard stated "it's possible" he sexually abused boys while serving on Guam. He later signed an affidavit admitting to abusing 20 or more boys on the island.
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In 1981, he was sent to Minnesota for "help with his personal problems," and was later barred from serving as a priest after questions arose about a house guest from the island, according to a statement last year from the Diocese of Duluth.
Lawsuits naming Brouillard as an abuser describe similar details. As a parish priest, he was accused of walking naked in front of altar boys and photographing them in the nude.
As a scoutmaster, he was accused of requiring boys to swim naked during swimming lessons at the Lonfit River. He was also accused of molesting boys at overnight campouts.
Brouillard’s sexual activities involving children had been known to church officials for at least a decade before he left the island, according to the 2016 affidavit.
“My actions were discussed and confessed to area priests as well as Bishop Apollinaris Baumgartner who had approached me to talk about the situation. I was told to try to do better and say prayers as a penance,” he said in the affidavit.
Baumgartner died in 1970.
David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, said Brouillard should not have been allowed to continue serving as a priest and Boy Scout leader after he discussed the abuse with his superiors.
“That’s the greater crime, the church knowing about it and didn’t do anything to protect children,” Sablan said. “I pray that Brouillard was able to reconcile with God before he died, and that justice will be served for the victims of sexual abuse and their families through the mediation process and the court lawsuits."
In several lawsuits Bouillard was accused of paying to bring boys from Guam to Minnesota to abuse them. One of the lawsuits alleges he moved a boy into a two-bedroom retirement home apartment.
"Father Bouillard was sent to the Diocese of Duluth in 1981 in the hope that he would receive help with personal problems," Kyle Eller, communications director for the Diocese of Duluth, said last year. "In 1985, Father Bouillard’s faculties to serve as a priest in the Duluth Diocese were revoked after questions were raised about a guest from Guam staying with him."
In 2013, Brouillard's name appeared on a list of priests released by the Diocese of Duluth with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.
Brouillard continued to receive a monthly stipend of $550 from the Archdiocese, even after allegations against him began to surface in 2016.
In an interview at his home in Pine City, Minnesota, in March, Brouillard told a reporter from the USA TODAY Network that he was full of regret. He admitted touching the boys, but said he didn't know at the time it would be harmful to both the boys and the church.
“I’m sorry for all that happened. I regarded them as my friends. In fact, I still do,” Brouillard said. “As youths, they were appreciative of what I could do for them.
“There’s so much I could have done better," he said. "I’m afraid I was thinking more of what I wanted to do, rather than what God called me to do.”