The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
to Alumni of
December 10, 2003
While the time you spent at St. Laurence High School was likely very positive, not all of your fellow students were so fortunate.
We are in touch with two young men who were repeatedly sexually molested by Brother Robert Brouillette while they were students at St. Laurence. We know there are other victims too.
Brouillette was a teacher, counselor, and coach at the school from 1992 until April of 1998, when he was arrested for indecent solicitation of a minor. In May 1998, Brouillette was indicted on ten counts of child pornography. On March of 2000, Brouillette was found guilty of distribution of child pornography and possession with intent to distribute child pornography. He was sentenced to 4 years' probation.
Currently, Brouillette lives at the St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri, a residential facility for clergy who, among other things, have been caught having sex with children. It is not a prison, but rather a comfortable setting. Brouillette's probation is scheduled to terminate on March 14, 2004.
Brouilette's pattern of sexually abusing boys, his "treatment" in about 1975, and his many transfers to different Christian Brothers' schools across the United States, have all been documented in several lawsuits brought against the school, the Christian Brothers, and the Archdiocese of Chicago.
We are writing for three reasons.
First, if you've been sexually violated by Brouilette or any other Christian Brother or school staff person, we urge you to get help. As traumatic as sexual abuse is, you can recover. No matter how long ago you were hurt, no matter how self-destructive you have been, recovery is possible. We know. Each of us was molested by a priest. But through therapy and our SNAP support group, we are getting better and piecing our lives together.
Second, if you know of or suspect anything about Brouillette's abuse of kids or child pornography, we beg you to contact us. Or call the police. Or the prosecutor. Or a social worker. Or the DCFS hotline (800.25ABUSE). But please speak up. That's the only way kids will be safe.
Third, if you are still in touch with other St. Laurence alums, we implore you to call and discuss this with them. Or send this letter to them, even anonymously. Pass along our phone numbers and e mail addresses. Do something to reach out to one of your former classmates who may be struggling in secrecy and shame.
We believe Brouillette or other clerics who commit sex crimes should be prosecuted like anyone else. That can only happen, however, if people who were hurt or who have information come forward.
In our organization, we are committed to confidentiality. We are a support group for men and women victimized by clergy. (See our web site: SNAPnetwork.org) While we are steadfast in our commitment to innocent kids, please be assured that we want to protect you too. If you contact us, we will preserve your privacy.
Like you, we attended parochial schools. Like you, we learned that God wants us to do what's right, even if it feels scary or difficult. Like you, we want all children to be safe. Like you, we were reluctant to come forward at first. But speaking out about our abuse has helped us heal. And taking steps to safeguard vulnerable youngsters has benefitted the entire church.
We know you agree that children must be protected from child molesters, even those who may be charming and charismatic and may have led seemingly exemplary lives. We hope you will have the courage to pick up the phone so we can do this.
On behalf of everyone victimized at St. Laurence, we commend you for your courage to come forward.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests