New $16M verdict reached in runaway pedophile priest case

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  A $16 million judgment Friday was awarded to a man who suffered abuse as a child at the hands of a longtime New Mexico pedophile priest.

Father Arthur Perrault fled New Mexico in 1992 and has been hiding out overseas ever since.

“Nobody knew where he was for 25 years,” said attorney Brad Hall.

“We will pursue a pedophile to the ends of the earth, no matter how long it takes us to find him,” Hall said, noting that Perrault was finally discovered living in Tangier, Morocco, last year.

He was working at a school at the time he was located, and since his past was revealed, he no longer works there.

Perrault’s last parish was the Shrine of St. Bernadette in Albuquerque, where Hall said Perrault abused his client, Kenneth Wolter.

“Father Perrault left a trail of many victims,” said Hall.

Wolter was awarded a $16 million judgment against Perrault on Friday. He already reached an undisclosed settlement with the Catholic Church in November 2015.

“$16 million is a fair amount in this situation,” said Hall. However, he notes that they may never see a dime from Perrault.

“The plaintiff brought this case to help all victims and all survivors,” he said.

Hall said 38 victims in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe have come forward with claims against Perrault.

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