Rabat - Almost 25 years after he seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth, former priest Arthur Perrault, who has known to have molested several in New Mexico, was served a summons in Tangier for a lawsuit regarding his crimes filed in the United States, according to a report by the Albuquerque Journal.
Rabat – Almost 25 years after he seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth, former priest Arthur Perrault, who has known to have molested several in New Mexico, was served a summons in Tangier for a lawsuit regarding his crimes filed in the United States, according to a report by the Albuquerque Journal.
According to the report, an attorney said Perrault had been living in Tangier and working at the American Language Center in the Moroccan city since he left the U.S. in 1992. Morocco has no extradition treaty with the United States, so the kingdom is not obliged to return Perrault to his home country if found.
The lawsuit Perrault was summoned for was filed by Kenneth Wolter – the man who, during a press conference in November where he held a picture of himself with Perrault, identified himself as a victim of the Albuquerque priest’s crimes.
“Getting (Perrault) away from children is priority No. 1 for me, especially if he is still surrounded by kids, because he will never change,” said Wolter, 35, before he filed the suit in December.
At the ages of 10 and 11, Wolter served as an altar boy at St. Bernadette’s Church in Albuquerque in 1991 and 1992, which is when Perrault sexually abused him at the church and at Kirtland Air Force Base. The lawsuits documents say Perrault served as a chaplain for the base at the time.
“It’s good that he’s been located, but I’ll believe it when I see it,” said Wolter of his abuser, form whom he seeks compensatory and punitive damages. “He’s a slippery individual.”
Parishioners at Perrault’s church saw him last in September 1992, when he announced his resignation and sabbatical in Canada. The pastor has bought a plane ticket for Vancouver for a flight on September 29, 1992, but “disappeared” soon afterwards.
Eleven days later, attorney Bruce Pasternack filed two lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Perrault’s employer, armed with the testimonies of seven people who claimed that the he had sexually violated them as children at St. Bernadette’s and other places of worship.
Allegations against Perrault had surfaced decades before Pasternack’s lawsuits as well.
Wolter’s attorney, Brad Hall, said investigators working with a Moroccan informant learned of Perrault’s position at the English-language school in Tangier, the city Perrault has lived off and on in for around 30 years.
The Journal contacted the center to verify the former pastor’s employment there, but the school has so far denied his alleged work there.
The Second Judicial District Court, through which Wolter’s suit has been filed, says an employee at the center received and signed for a FedEx package on April 22nd addressed to Perrault with the legal summons and other documents.
Another victim of Perault’s abuses in the early 1970s said bringing the cleric to justice is overdue.
“You have a man who has ruined the lives of children – some of them have taken their own lives – and he’s out in Morocco,” said Mark Romero, who was an altar boy at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Albuquerque, where Perrault assaulted him. “There’s something wrong with that.”
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has yet to respond to requests for comment on by the Journal.
In the event that Perrault does not respond to the summons, Hall says he will ask the judge to rule the case in the prosecution’s favor, meaning the suspect will go straight to jail for the felonies if the police catches him on U.S. soil.