by Andrew Walden
Convicted child molester Leon Rouse, formerly employed by ex-Rep Joe Bertram as a legislative office manager, popped up in the pages of the Maui News November 28 claiming that his conviction in the Philippines is not valid. Rouse, who also managed Rep. Rida Cabanila's office in 2009 and 2010 complains about a mailer sent out by Republican George Fontaine in his successful campaign to unseat Bertram:
The smear sheet Fontaine sent out to the voters of Kihei against (Rep) Joe (Bertram) before the Nov. 2 election mentioned my name. The quote was, "Bertram's staffer, Leon Rouse, may be the only legislative employee anywhere in the U.S. hired while known to be a convicted child molester."
Unless Rouse knows of another molester working in a Legislature somewhere, this statement is absolutely correct. It is undisputed that Rouse was convicted of paying for sex with an underage boy in The Philippines in 1995. The mailer sent out by Fontaine is full of quotes. Which ones are “smears” in Rouse’s view?
Did Marc Klass "smear" Bertram, or Bertram’s other child predator buddy, Mark Marcantonio, when he said:
"A 52 year old man tried to lure a 14 year old girl over the Internet for sex. And Bertram didn’t think he should go to jail. That hits close to home."
Did now-Lt Governor Brian Schatz "smear" Bertram when he said:
“Representative Bertram’s comments in court do not in any way represent the views of the Democratic Party or Democrats in general. We stand strongly for protecting victims.”
Did Editors of the Maui News “smear” Bertram by writing:
“Bertram’s follow-up tried to spin his way out of the jam.”
Did the Honolulu Advertiser "smear" Bertram or Rouse when it wrote April 28, 2009:
“Bertram once hired a Hawaii man for his office staff who was convicted of child abuse in the Philippines.”
Rouse and one other Maui News letter-writer who actually demands an apology for Rouse are employing a standard information warfare tactic—portraying themselves as victims by trying to redefine a defeat for their side as an injustice. But there is much more at stake here than one child molester, Rouse has been at the center of the gay movement’s key initiatives since the early 1980s. Gay organizations have worked hard to portray themselves as being interested only in sex between consenting adults. Having a convicted child molester playing such an integral role would be embarrassing, even at this late date.
In 1993, when the corrupt Broken Trust Hawaii Supreme Court, took a break from appointing Bishop Estate Trustees and invented gay marriage for the first time in the entire history of the human race, Leon Rouse was at the center of lobbying and political action efforts. An October 23, 1996 internet newsletter published by Marriage Project Hawaii describes the formation of Hawaii Equal Rights Marriage Project (h.e.r.m.p.) for the plaintiffs in the Baehr v Miike gay marriage case. The article identifies several organizations as “the players and organizations in Hawaii whose primary focus is on same gender marriage and which work closely with h.e.r.m.p”. These include:
…Alliance for Equal Rights: this political action group predates h.e.r.m.p considerably. It played a strong role in getting Hawaii's law that bans discrimination in employment (with Leon Rouse as the lobbyist for that). It's top priority is the support of legislative candidates who support same gender marriage, but it can't give money directly to the candidate's election campaigns....
Gay marriage is not the only Rouse effort. The Wisconsin gay magazine In Step October 29, 2002 explains:
In 1982, Milwaukee gay activist Leon Rouse along with [then] Wisconsin State Rep. David Clarenbach and others were widely credited with helping push through the first law in the country which prohibited discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation. It was a landmark achievement for Wisconsin and the nation. Rouse and Clarenbach were regarded as the two most important figures in that historic drive for equal rights in Wisconsin.
After years of activism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in the statewide lobbying effort and after an unsuccessful bid to become a Milwaukee county supervisor, Leon Rouse left Milwaukee in the late 1980s. He spent time in Hawaii and had reportedly taken a job on a Pacific cruise ship.
Community members speculated for years about what had become of Rouse. Rumors persisted that he had run afoul of the law. Now comes word that Rouse has spent the last seven years languishing in a Philippine prison on a serious morals charge.
The newly passed law was just the beginning. Gay magazine Blueboy, in June, 1991, describes Rouse as the first to use gay rights as an excuse to drive the military off college campuses:
The current nationwide movement to force ROTC, and by extension the Department of Defense, to stop discriminating against sexual non-conformists or to get off campus began in 1982, when Wisconsin became the first state to pass a lesbian and gay civil rights law. Two students at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Eric Jernberg and Leon Rouse, decided to ask their school to adhere to the spirit of the new law by suspending participation in the ROTC program if that program continued to violate the terms of the statute.
The anti-military campaign started by Rouse in 1982 was finally killed 24 years later by the unanimous March 6, 2006, Supreme Court ruling upholding the Solomon Amendment which requires federally funded colleges to allow access to military recruiters. But in those 24 years, anti-military efforts were a key tool in the establishment of the modern-day leftist academic monopoly on US campuses.
And so the first victories for gay rights, gays in the military, and gay marriage--all three of the gay movement’s key initiatives--can be directly tied to convicted child molester Leon Rouse.
Rouse claims a July, 2005 report on his appeal to the UN Human Rights Committee, proves his innocence. In the Maui News viewpoint, Rouse claims the UN report means that his “foreign conviction cannot be consider (sic) legitimate.” But the UN report describes the circumstances of Rouse’s arrest in damning terms:
"Around noon on the day of arrest, he [Rouse] arrived at Pichay Lodging House, where he saw Harty Dancel, a former acquaintance, accompanied by two individuals, Pedro Augustin and Godfrey Domingo. The four of them had lunch in a restaurant, where Dancel offered Godfrey to have sex with the author. The author refused, arguing that the latter was too young, even after Dancel insisted and assured him he had reached the age of majority.
"Later in the day, the same three persons waited for the author at his hotel. Dancel had them invited to the author’s room. After the author [Rouse] had taken a shower, Dancel and Augustin left the room, leaving him alone with Godfrey. The latter requested to use the bathroom, where he undressed. When there were knocks on the door, the author opened, and police officers entered. At that moment, neither the author nor Godfrey wore clothes."
Based on his endorsement of the report including this statement, Rouse is admitting:
Rouse arrived at a hotel and immediately had lunch with a male prostitute and his pimp, "a former acquaintance".
The male prostitute appeared "too young."
Rouse let the male prostitute and pimp into his hotel room.
Rouse ended up naked in the hotel room with the naked "too young" male prostitute and without dressing answered the door, letting the police in.
Since Rouse admits being caught naked in the hotel room, Philippine police were eye witnesses to at least some elements of the crime Rouse was convicted of.
Rouse claims that this was a police set-up designed to shake him down for money. If that is so, why did the prosecutors defend the case all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court? Could it be that the authorities in Laoag, the capital of Ilocos Norte Province, are sick and tired of imperialists coming to their town 200 miles north of Manila to molest their children?
Mark Behar, leading Rouse’s defense efforts in Wisconsin, said: “What horrible irony, that one of Wisconsin’s brightest and most resourceful gay activists has been made into a political prisoner in a homophobic, right wing banana republic for more than 7 years.”
Rouse’s arrest came just a few months after Philippine “banana republic” police lieutenant Aida D. Fariscal refused thousands of dollars in bribes and arrested al-Qaeda operatives planning the Operation Bojinka bomb attack on twelve airliners—including two headed for Honolulu.
In the initial Philippine court decision the events are described thus:
"On or about the 4th day of October 1995, in the City of Laoag, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the herein accused did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously by using his adult influence and promising to pay 200 pesos ($3.79 US), engage one Godfrey Domingo, a male child who is below 18 years of age, as in fact he is 15 years old, for lascivious acts and committed said acts by masturbating and sucking the penis of the child and inserting his penis into the anus of the child all of which acts were committed by the accused on said child at Room 205 of the Pichay Lodging House at Laoag City, but which acts although already performed by the accused on the child was discontinued due to the intervention of the police who apprehended the accused who was then naked and in the company of Godfrey Domingo who was also naked in Room 205 of the Pichay Lodging House."
Rouse appealed all the way to the Philippine Supreme Court where his appeal was denied on April 23, 2003. He served eight years of a 10-to-15-year sentence in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. Rouse was released by the Philippine authorities on September 29, 2003 and immediately deported and banished for life from the Philippines.
Rouse’s has tied his release to complaints of kidney stones. But, the 2002 In Step article reports, “Rouse apparently refused a Philippine Department of Justice offer to deport him in exchange for accepting the guilty verdict with the stipulation that he never return the Philippines. However, Rouse stated that he may reconsider his position on deportation if the Philippine Supreme Court rules against his appeal.” Did Rouse eventually sign a statement admitting his guilt?
When Rouse returned to Hawaii, he quickly received the help of several Democrat State legislators in obtaining a job at Norwegian Cruise Lines. But on June 11, 2004 NCL fired Rouse during his probationary period for sexually harassing his male co-workers. He was unceremoniously dumped off the ship when it reached port in Long Beach, CA.
Just as in the Philippines, Rouse depicted himself as the victim in the NCL sex harassment case as well. And Hawaii Democrat Legislators were ready to help, nine Senators introduced Senate resolution 65 "to make an assessment as to whether Norwegian Cruise Lines should pay taxes equivalent to those paid by Hawaii hotels...." Line 13 of SR65 explains: "...there have been questions raised about Norwegian Cruise Line's violation of the rights of employees who have been accused of sexual harassment."
The Honolulu Advertiser's April 9, 2005 article about HR65 was titled: "Legislator's aide was child-abuse convict." Rouse is featured on the website "CruiseBruise" under the headline: "Leon R. Rouse Cabin Boy: Convicted Pedophile Hired As Cabin Boy Norwegian Cruise Lines." KITV’s headline was “Fired Cruise Line Employee Gets Special Help From Lawmakers: Senator Denies Trying To Intimidate Norwegian Cruise Line.”
In spite of being forced to resign from Cabanilla’s office manager in 2005, Rouse was hired in 2006 by Senator Roz Baker as a committee aide. Rouse was hired by Rep Joe Bertram in 2007 and 2008. In 2009 and 2010 Rouse was re-hired by Cabanilla. During the 2010 Primary campaign, Netra Halperin, one of the Democrats challenging Bertram, touted her experience working as a legislative aide in Cabanilla’s office where she was supervised by none other than Leon Rouse.
What happens when a molester is allowed to work in the Legislature? A good example comes from a complaint filed by a veteran Hawaii lobbyist before the State Campaign Spending Commission, Scotty Anderson v. Leon Rouse July 16, 2009:
Mr. F.M. Scotty Anderson filed a complaint against Mr. Leon Rouse alleging that when he and members of the Building Industry Association visited Representative Cabanilla’s State office with a list of bills they were interested in, Mr. Rouse told the group that unions bring checks, while business groups just give a kiss. Mr. Anderson and the other members believed that the statement implied or suggested that they should give money if they wanted more attention....
Mr. Rouse stated that in hindsight it was not a statement that he should have made, and that he was only trying to help them. Also, that he was not soliciting a contribution for Rep. Cabanilla, as he is not a member of her campaign committee, and that the statement was a generic statement and was misconstrued. He said they left before he could explain.
Mr. Anderson reiterated that Mr. Rouse told the group that unions bring checks, while business groups just give a kiss, and that never in all his years dealing with the legislature did he hear such a statement. He asked Mr. Rouse to repeat his statement and Mr. Rouse did. He also stated that Mr. Rouse’s statement indicated to him and the other members from the Building Industry Association that those who give money would have the influence. He said he didn’t necessarily want him fined but did not want this to happen again.
Anderson’s complaint was dismissed by a 4-1 vote.
Then there is this complaint filed with the office of House Speaker Calvin Say by an elderly woman visiting the legislature January 27, 2010:
Unfortunately, when I entered Rep. Cabanilla's office #442 and inquired whether she might be available, the young lady said Ms. Cabanilla was on the phone. When I offered to wait, she indicated it might not be possible to speak with her due to a very busy schedule today. The staffer, when asked, indicated Rep. Cabanilla voted to affirm HB444. I then asked her if this was an election year.
Before she could respond, a male staffer (Leon) who was on the phone during this time and sitting directly to my left suddenly slammed the phone down on the desk ... stood up and became extremely verbally aggressive with me saying "You are in violation by asking about reelection and your remarks are considered threatening and harassing! You need to leave the building now!" I said I was merely asking a question to which he said "Oh, like you didn't know this was an election year? You're wearing an ‘I vote’ button and you don't know whether this is an election year?"
Needless to say Rep. Say, I was shocked at his remarks. When he asked me to leave the building or he would call the Sergeant-At-Arms and have me escorted out, I told him "I'm not leaving the building." He called Kevin Kuroda via the phone and told him to come immediately. Another male staffer was now involved and telling me I had to leave.
I told Leon he was being extremely rude and that I'm a senior citizen whose tax dollars pay his salary. Leon was in a state of rage and acting outrageously! I felt very much at risk physically so I left and literally ran back to Room 441 where I just came from and where I felt I could be safe. Leon followed quickly on my heels and entered that office with me. I was yelling for help and he was yelling the Sergeant-At-Arms was on his way. The whole scene was positively bizarre! When Kevin came in, I was shaking and in a very frightened state due to the actions of Ms. Cabanilla's aide. Kevin asked him to please leave and he proceeded to speak with me and told me no one is going to make you leave the building. We went outside and continued our discussion in the hall. A female staffer from Room 441 brought me a bottle of water after asking me if I needed it.
Kevin said he would wait for things to calm down and then he would discuss a more proper way for Ms. Cabanilla's staff to behave. He then stayed with me as we walked down to your office where you were occupied with other business. I told Kevin I would write to you and also cc Kevin my remarks.
No formal action has been taken by Say on this complaint. Once again Rouse got away scott-free.
But now, with the defeat of Rep Bertram, Leon Rouse has become a demonstrated electoral liability to his employers. Will he still be rehired by Baker or Cabanilla for 2011? It is likely this question which has caused Rouse to pop up and try to spread his self-serving justifications and denials in the pages of the Maui News.
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