Legal team helped bring Arthur Perrault to justice - Albuquerque Journal

Legal team helped bring Arthur Perrault to justice

Fr. Arthur Perrault in 1989

Brad Hall and his legal team doggedly pursued notorious child sex abuser Fr. Arthur Perrault.

Hall’s work helped spur the FBI to investigate decades-old allegations and bring Perrault back to the United States from Africa last fall to face federal criminal charges.

The 81-year-old former pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Albuquerque was convicted in April of sexually assaulting a parish altar boy on federal property in New Mexico in the early 1990s. A federal court jury found the assaults occurred at the Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base – where Perrault served as a military chaplain.

Perrault, who is accused of molesting some 38 children in New Mexico, absconded in 1992 after allegations from children and their parents began to surface publicly.

“The Archdiocese (of Santa Fe) even learned how to say, ‘We don’t know for sure where he is. We lost track of him somewhere in Canada or Africa or Europe. Somewhere.’ And people just accepted that.”

Hall didn’t.

Before Perrault was caught, Hall happened to be complaining to his son Tavo, a U.S. Air Force lawyer, that “it doesn’t make any sense to me why I’m paying so much tax money every April for the government to send a (military) pension to a known child rapist.”

Perrault served in the Air Force Reserve in the 1980s and was collecting a military retirement while living in Tangier, Morocco.

Tavo, then stationed at Aviano in Italy, told his dad to call the JAG lawyers in Albuquerque.

So Hall said he started making phone calls asking, ” ‘How do I track this guy down? You’re sending him a pension check every month … let’s find this guy.’ ”

By 2016, Hall had found Perrault.

“And what does he do? He teaches at a boys school.”

Hall filed a civil lawsuit in 2016 against Perrault in state district court in Albuquerque and had him served with a summons to appear in court and defend himself.

“Perrault was arrogant enough to write a letter to Judge Denise Barela Shepherd saying he had been served and that ‘I’m not coming.’ That was enough for us to get a default judgment for $16 million.”

Hall said the former altar boy had already settled an earlier civil claim against the archdiocese.

“We knew we were never going to collect on the ($16 million). But we intended to use it in our ongoing discussions with the federal government to get Perrault back,” Hall said.

“We asked: ‘So if a little bitty lawyer in a little office in Albuquerque can find him and sue him and serve him and get him to write a letter back, why aren’t you arresting him?’ ”

The FBI eventually arranged to have Perrault arrested and detained in Morocco until he could be returned to the U.S. and New Mexico.

Perrault is awaiting sentencing on seven counts of sex abuse and sexual contact. He faces a maximum life prison sentence.

Face to Face with Brad Hall: Fighting for victims of clergy sex abuse

 

Home » News » Albuquerque News » Legal team helped bring Arthur Perrault to justice

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Kenneth H. Martinez, 1954-2023: Former district judge ‘was good ...
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court ... Albuquerque native, 2nd Judicial District Court judge had a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease
2
No drama for birthday llama: ABQ llama celebrates 27th ...
ABQnews Seeker
'This llama is bringing everyone together,' ... 'This llama is bringing everyone together,' says family friend
3
Eastbound I-40 shut down at Carlisle due to crash
ABQnews Seeker
All lanes of eastbound Interstate 40 ... All lanes of eastbound Interstate 40 are closed Saturday afternoon following a crash at Carlisle. Gilbert Gallegos, an Albuquerque police spokesman, said one person ...
4
Fire crews to start pile burns on the east ...
ABQnews Seeker
The U.S. Forest Service will be ... The U.S. Forest Service will be conducting prescribed pile burns over the next week in the area around Sulphur Canyon in the Sandia Mountains. ...
5
Wrong-way driver killed in crash on Albuquerque's West Side
ABQnews Seeker
A wrong-way driver was killed after ... A wrong-way driver was killed after crashing his car into a pickup truck Saturday morning on the West Side. Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert ...
6
US Marshals arrest fugitive in homicide at Albuquerque motel
ABQnews Seeker
Federal authorities arrested the suspect in ... Federal authorities arrested the suspect in a 2021 robbery turned homicide at a motel in Northeast Albuquerque. Jimmie Glisson, deputy US Marshal in the ...
7
2 teens shot, 1 killed, in Southwest Albuquerque shooting
ABQnews Seeker
Authorities are looking for the shooters, ... Authorities are looking for the shooters, who fled in a ‘dark-colored’ sedan
8
National Hispanic Cultural Center parts ways with executive director
ABQnews Seeker
Co-acting directors will take over leadership, ... Co-acting directors will take over leadership, says Cultural Affairs official
9
Happy Birthday Bob's Burgers! Albuquerque institution celebrates 60 years ...
ABQnews Seeker
It's been family first, business second, ... It's been family first, business second, say restaurant's owners