Michael Chargualaf has held a secret for 41 years. A secret, he said, that changed the trajectory of his life forever, leading him to estranged relationships and an angry past.
When he was 13 years old, Chargualaf volunteered to become an altar boy at the San Isidro Church in Malojloj. His grandmother, Ignacia, had raised Michael and encouraged him to grow his Catholic faith by serving as an altar boy and attending Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes at the parish.
The first weekend he went to serve for Father Louis Brouillard, Chargualaf recalled sleeping at the back of the parish the night before to ensure he wouldn't be late to help prepare for 6 a.m. Sunday Mass.
Chargualaf said he knocked on the rectory door and was surprised to see Father Brouillard open the door wearing a white bathrobe that hung open, showing no clothing underneath. He said Brouillard told him to come inside and find a seat. But with books and papers everywhere, Chargualaf said he was directed to the bedroom, where he sat at the foot of the bed.
He said Brouillard came in, disrobed and lay on the bed naked and called Chargualaf to lay with him and "relax" until it was time for Mass.
"I was so nervous," Chargualaf said. "I was so scared."
He said Brouillard began fondling himself and then began touching him and told him not to be afraid.
"I started to shake and had both of my arms to the side," Chargualaf said. "He asked me how do I like that. He told me, 'It feels good. Those are the greatest feelings that a man should feel,'" the priest told him.
Chargualaf said the priest continued to abuse him.
He recalled having to help Brouillard put on his priest's robe and noted that he was naked underneath. As he watched the priest serve Mass that day, Chargualaf said he was afraid.
"I was confused and scared that if I mentioned that to my grandmother she wouldn't believe me, or I'd be known as a liar by others," he said. "Back then the priest (was) infallible. Whatever they tell you to do, you do."
On three other occasions, Chargualaf recalled being called into Brouillard's bedroom and being sexually abused. Two of the incidents involved Chargualaf and another CCD student.
"He just threw himself on the bed in between me and the other guy and told us to pull our pants down and relax before CCD," Chargualaf said. Brouillard performed oral sex on them and then ordered the two minor boys to fondle him, court documents state.
Chargualaf also alleges he was abused while on a Boy Scout camping trip to Ritidian when Brouillard served as scout master. He cringed as he recalled Brouillard entering his tent and performing oral sex on him and another Boy Scout. The complaint alleges that the other boys at the camp knew that Brouillard abused Chargulaf and the other Boy Scout, and began ridiculing and teasing them.
After 18 months of enduring the abuse, Chargualaf said he went crazy.
"I went ballistic," he said. As a teen he ran away from his grandmother's house and slept in the jungle, and turned to cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana to "escape" the horrible secret and pain he felt.
"I went from good to evil," he said, admitting he often had nightmares about the sexual abuse and became violent and angry. "I went there to serve Christ, not serve the priest," he said.
When his grandmother passed away in 2000, he said he went to the coffin and asked her for forgiveness for the pain he had caused her while he was growing up.
"I told her, 'I hope, if you can hear me, the reason I did all that is because that happened to me by the priest,'" Chargualaf said, as his eyes welled up with tears.
The Army veteran said the abuse from the late 1970s has impacted his relationships and resulted in a constant battle with anger management and connecting with others including his immediate family.
"I just kept it to myself when they called me different names," he said.
When he saw his cousin, Roy Quintanilla, and nephew, Roland Sondia, come forward with allegations of clerical sexual abuse at Mount Carmel in Agat, Chargualaf said all of the bad memories flooded his mind.
This year he saw advertisements by law firms calling for sex abuse victims to come forward. Chargualaf said he cut out the advertisement and kept it in his wallet for weeks, contemplating whether to call the number. As he looked at the ad daily, looking at the photo of his abuser, Chargualaf said he grew angrier.
As he read more accounts from former altar boys, including a few from San Isidro parish, Chargualaf gained the courage to come forward and break the silence.
"I wanted to say something, but I was so ashamed," he said. "I was so embarrassed."
Chargualaf filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of Guam against the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, the Archbishop of Agana, and the Boy Scouts of America and the Aloha Council Chamorro District through his attorney Anthony C. Perez.
Alleged sexual abuse in the rectory
Anthony Ray Mantanona was 8 years old when he served as an altar boy and attended CCD classes at San Isidro Church in Malojloj. In a lawsuit filed in the Superior Court on Thursday, Mantanona alleges he was sexually abused by Brouillard in the bedroom of the rectory on two occasions.
Following a Sunday Mass, Brouillard told Mantanona to "pretend his (private part) was a microphone, and to sing to it," court documents state.
In another instance Mantanona recalls being forced to lay on the bed with another CCD student and being sexually abused.
Brouillard allegedly tried to sexually abuse him a third time, but Mantanona's relative intervened and told him to go home. After that incident he withdrew from being an altar boy.
Mantanona also filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court.
Both lawsuits allege gross negligence and seek an undetermined amount in damages to be determined by a jury, as well as equitable relief to ensure the archdiocese and Boy Scouts have safeguards in place to protect children from becoming victims in the future.
Chargualaf said he hopes other victims will have the courage to come forward and speak out. As for Brouillard, he said he forgives him, but "leaves the judgment to God."