Guam is a Far Cry for Brooklyn

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A year ago, Bill Hudson was singing doo-wop with a group of seniors at the 34th Street Herald Square station. Hudson was born in , just blocks from the legendary Apollo Theater — where the young music enthusiast grew up watching the Supremes, the Temptations and Sly and the Family Stone perform.

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We all had the music bug. Ridley and his childhood friends were forming a new band, John the Martyr, and — after showing Hudson some songs and asking his input — invited the elder musician to join as the lead singer. We played New Orleans, and he did a split onstage! But now, he loves playing with the young and somethings in the group. Read Next. These authors risk the wrath of readers to keep book franc This story has been shared , times. This story has been shared 40, times. Learn More. View author archive Get author RSS feed. Name required. They show a pattern of repeated collusion by predator priests, with abuse that spanned generations and reached all the way to the very top of the church hierarchy.

Apuron still denies the allegations. Army sergeant. But it was me against him, and I had nothing to lose. Restrictions on suing the Church were eased only after Apuron was suspended. Since then at least lawsuits have been filed alleging abuse by 35 clergymen, teachers and Boy Scout leaders tied to the Catholic Church.

Seven men have accused Apuron in lawsuits of sexual assaults they endured as boys, including his own nephew. The archbishop, now 73, insists all his accusers are liars. But in a secret church trial last year, the Vatican found Apuron guilty of sex crimes against children, removing him from public ministry and effectively exiling him from Guam.

To this day, no member of the Catholic clergy on Guam has ever been prosecuted for a sex crime, including Apuron. Secret church files that could have helped provide evidence for prosecutions are alleged to have been burned. And unlike dozens of archdioceses on the U. Despite church law that requires bishops and archbishops to maintain records on sex abuse allegations, the new archbishop, Michael Jude Byrnes, said his predecessor left him nothing.

Many streets on this former Spanish colony of , are named for bishops and priests — including some now accused of sexual abuse.

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Even before Apuron, survivors — and a frequent abuser — reported sexual assaults to the Church, only to have their cases ignored. When Leo Tudela reported abuse to the Capuchin monks in , they just moved him to another church and Catholic school.

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There, a teacher, Father Louis Brouillard, took a special interest in the thin year-old with the tuft of dark hair. A wiry, red-headed Minnesotan, Brouillard came to Guam in after being expelled from the Catholic seminary on the mainland over accusations of making sexual advances toward boys. Popular for being a lax disciplinarian and easy grader, Brouillard often kept a camera strapped around his neck. Brouillard asked Tudela to live with him and four or five other boys in the rectory of Santa Teresita Catholic Church, where Tudela, now 76, says he was regularly raped and molested.

The Associated Press typically does not identify sexual assault survivors, but those in this story agreed to interviews or were named in public court filings.


Multiple survivors recount other priests and adults present during the abuse, including on Boy Scout excursions organized by Brouillard. He also volunteered as a swimming instructor, they say, filming boys nude and sexually assaulting them at a jungle swimming hole. In , Brouillard was transferred back to Minnesota after, according to lawsuits, a complaint was made against him to Guam police.

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He paid for at least three Guamanian boys to visit him and abused them, the lawsuits allege. Brouillard was finally removed from public ministry in , but continued to receive a stipend from the Church. After survivors began coming forward in , Brouillard signed a sworn statement admitting to sexually abusing at least 20 children, including Tudela. Brothers Ramon and Tomas De Plata are among 15 men who have filed lawsuits accusing Cruz, now dead, of sexual assaults. Ramon says his family complained to the village commissioner but heard nothing.

Tomas says the abuse started in the summer of When he was 11, he says, Cruz performed sex acts while Brouillard took photos. The following March, Apuron — then a seminarian in his late teens — was at a sleepover in the rectory, the brothers say. Ramon says the future archbishop got up from the bed and placed a hand on his shoulder.

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Tomas and other survivors also remember seeing black-and-white pornographic photos of Cruz, Brouillard and others having sex with boys, secretly developed in a makeshift darkroom on church property. So Denton felt privileged when in the spring of , Father Tony invited him to spend the night before Sunday mass in the squat concrete block rectory. He ate supper and then got intensely drowsy, he remembers. Please stop!

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Denton confided in an older altar boy, who said Apuron had abused him too. Soon after, the charismatic young priest was named auxiliary bishop for Guam. In a visit to San Dimas and Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Merizo, Apuron told a teenager stacking bibles on a shelf in a back room to kiss his ring, according to a lawsuit filed in February. When the teen bent over, Apuron grabbed his head and forced him to perform oral sex. The victim, who is identified only by his initials, said Apuron told him no one would take his word over that of a bishop. That same year, Denton reported his rape to a priest in Maryland, where he was then stationed.

He says the priest advised him to pray. Mark Apuron grew up knowing his Uncle Tony was a big deal.

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After his parents moved from the mainland back to Guam when he was 15, Mark looked forward to spending more time with him. Inside, the vanity was lined end to end with bottles of pricey designer colognes, which Mark Apuron sprayed and sniffed as he smoked and drank. Without knocking, his Uncle Tony suddenly opened the locked door, his face flush with anger. Mark says he froze in fear as his uncle grabbed him, pushed him down over the counter and yanked down his pants.

He thought he was about to get a whipping, he says, but instead there was a sharp wave of pain as he felt something penetrate him. Using the countertop for leverage, Mark jammed himself back hard, forcing his uncle off. When forced to go to future family events, he says, he would see his uncle staring at him intensely. He never found the right words to tell his parents what happened. Fourteen men say in court papers that they were sexually assaulted by Father Raymond Cepeda, a parish priest at Santa Barbara Catholic Church and School.

Guam is a Far Cry for Brooklyn

One, identified by the initials P. Instead, he says, he was repeatedly preyed upon for sex starting in The teen reported Cepeda to Monsignor Zoilo Camacho, a senior pastor who recommended he take his complaint to the archbishop. Camacho himself was later accused of molesting at least three young altar boys, earning their trust by giving them Matchbox cars and Tonka trucks, and sexually abusing a school girl.

When P. He has since disappeared from public view and did not respond to messages seeking comment. Despite P. However, there was no indication evidence was handed over to police. And although Cepeda, now dead, was removed from the priesthood, Apuron still allowed him to teach catechism classes to children. Cruz, then the vice speaker of the Guam Senate. He had gone to the archdiocese in after suspecting his godson was being abused. A clergy sexual assault survivor himself, Cruz introduced a bill in to lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse lawsuits, opening a two-year window to seek compensation.

Apuron immediately used his influence to lobby against it.