Church Against The Horizon

Priest Abuse In Louisiana

The Louisiana dioceses are facing numerous allegations of priest abuse. Many Catholic clergy members in Louisiana have been accused of sexually abusing children. At least one diocese has already filed for bankruptcy under a growing number of abuse lawsuits.

In 2021, Louisiana lawmakers passed House Bill 492 (HB 492). HB 492 increased the legal rights for child sexual abuse survivors, including individuals abused by clergy members.

HB 492 eliminated the state’s legal deadline to file a civil claim. Additionally, the bill created a three-year “look back” window that revives older legal claims of abuse. This revival window will likely lead to additional lawsuits against the Louisiana dioceses.

Were You Abused by a Priest in Louisiana?

You May Have Rights to Legal Compensation

The Louisiana dioceses are facing numerous allegations of priest abuse. Many Catholic clergy members in Louisiana have been accused of sexually abusing children. At least one diocese has already filed for bankruptcy under a growing number of abuse lawsuits.

In 2021, Louisiana lawmakers passed House Bill 492 (HB 492). HB 492 increased the legal rights for child sexual abuse survivors, including individuals abused by clergy members.

HB 492 eliminated the state’s legal deadline to file a civil claim. Additionally, the bill created a three-year “look back” window that revives older legal claims of abuse. This revival window will likely lead to additional lawsuits against the Louisiana dioceses.

Were You Abused by a Priest in Louisiana?

You May Have Rights to Legal Compensation

Louisiana Clergy Abuse Lawsuits

The Louisiana Catholic dioceses face hundreds of priest abuse lawsuits and legal claims. The recently enacted three-year retroactive window for survivors will likely lead to more lawsuits against the dioceses. 

Nearly 30 lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New Orleans were paused when the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection. However, several of the other Catholic dioceses in Louisiana still face active lawsuits. 

For example, in July 2020, a clergy abuse survivor filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Shreveport. The survivor claims he was abused as a child by former Catholic priest William Allison. 

The alleged abuse took place long before the Diocese of Shreveport was formed. Prior to 1986, the area was part of the Alexandria Diocese. 

In 2019, the Alexandria Diocese listed Allison on its list of priests facing credible abuse allegations. Additionally, survivors have named Allison in abuse allegations in New Mexico, California and Arizona. 

Allison passed away in 1987.

Louisiana Priest Abuse Settlements

The Louisiana Catholic dioceses have paid millions of dollars in settlements to clergy abuse survivors. For example, during the course of six years, the New Orleans Archdiocese reportedly paid more than $3 million to survivors of one abusive clergy member. 

In many cases, survivors who accepted settlements from the archdiocese were not allowed to disclose the monetary amount of the settlement. This has been a common practice among Catholic dioceses facing abuse allegations. Because of this practice, many settlement awards remain unknown to the general public. 

Archdiocese Of New Orleans Bankruptcy

On May 1, 2020, the Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is used to protect businesses that are struggling financially. The process evaluates and reorganizes a business’ assets. In doing so, a business can pay off debts while maintaining enough capital to continue functioning properly.

The New Orleans Archdiocese is one of nearly 30 Catholic dioceses that have filed for bankruptcy. The archdiocese gave two reasons for its decision:

  • The archdiocese is facing a growing number of clergy abuse lawsuits.
  • The archdiocese lost revenue because of pandemic-related social distancing measures.

In September 2020, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set a bar date for abuse claims against the dioceses. Any survivor seeking compensation from the archdiocese had to file a claim through the bankruptcy court by March 1, 2021. 

When the filing deadline closed, nearly 400 survivors had filed claims.

Child Sex Abuse Statutes Of Limitations In Louisiana

On June 14, 2021, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed House Bill 492 (HB 492) into law. HB 492 expanded legal protections for survivors of child sexual abuse in two ways:

  • HB 492 eliminated the state’s statute of limitations for civil claims of child sexual abuse.
  • HB 492 created a legal “look back” window to revive expired civil claims of child sexual abuse.

A statute of limitations (SOL) is a legal deadline. SOLs vary based on the jurisdiction, the crime and the intended legal action (i.e., criminal charges versus a civil claim).

Civil Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Louisiana

In Louisiana, there is no civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims. HB 492 eliminated the prior civil statute that expired when a survivor turned 28 years of age.

This new statute is not retroactive. Many people with older claims of abuse are still time-barred under this statute. To give these survivors a second chance for legal justice, lawmakers created a three-year “look back” window. 

Louisiana’s “Look Back” Window

HB 492 created a three-year “look back” window. This retroactive window revives all expired civil claims of child sexual abuse in Louisiana. 

For three years, any survivor can file a civil lawsuit against an abuser or an entity that covered up abuse, regardless of when the abuse took place. Many survivors of clergy abuse were abused decades ago. This new statute gives these survivors a renewed chance at justice. 

The three-year window opens on August 1, 2021. The window will close on July 31, 2024.

You May Have New Legal Rights

Speak With Our Lawyers About Louisiana’s Statutes Today

Criminal Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Louisiana

In Louisiana, there is no criminal statute of limitations for aggravated and forcible rape. All other sexual felonies have a criminal statute of age 48. Learn more about Louisiana’s criminal statutes of child sexual abuse here.

List Of Priests Accused Of Abuse In Louisiana

This list includes Louisiana priests accused of abuse and other diocesan clergy members facing similar allegations. 

This list does not include diocesan staff or volunteers facing abuse claims. However, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against these abusive individuals. 

We are here to help. Contact our legal team today if you or a loved one was abused by a Louisiana clergy member.

Survivors May Be Eligible For Compensation

Learn About Filing a Claim in Louisiana


There Are 81 Accused Clergy Members From The Archdiocese Of New Orleans, LA:


There Are 5 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Lake Charles, LA:

You may be unable to find the priest you are looking for within our Louisiana list of accused clergy members for several reasons:

Even if you are unable to locate your abuser in our database, you may still be able to file a lawsuit against them. Speak with our attorneys today to learn more about the options available to you.

Note: The Louisiana Diocese of Shreveport is not listed above. Prior to 1986, the parishes that make up the Shreveport Diocese were part of the Alexandria Diocese. All priests accused of abuse who served in these parishes are listed under the Alexandria Diocese.

According to a Shreveport Diocese administrator, there have been no credible allegations of abuse against any of the diocese’s clergy members since June 1986.

History Of Clergy Abuse In Louisiana

In 1985, Louisiana became one of the first states to publicly acknowledge the priest abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. 

Gilbert Gauthe was a priest in the Diocese of Lafayette and a chaplain for the Boy Scouts of America. In 1985, Gauthe confessed to sexually abusing 37 children in Louisiana. However, some experts believe he may have abused more than 100 victims before he was criminally charged. 

The Lafayette Diocese paid millions to settle claims with Gauthe’s victims.

Louisiana Priest Abuse Victim Resources

Survivors of sexual violence, such as child sexual abuse, often suffer long-term effects related to their trauma. However, survivors don’t have to suffer or come to terms with the abuse on their own. There are state and local resources available to abuse survivors. 

Call the Louisiana statewide hotline at 1-888-411-1333 to find resources near you.

Louisiana Priest Abuse FAQs

What Is The Statute Of Limitations On Priest Sexual Abuse In Louisiana?

Currently, any survivor can file a civil claim of child sexual abuse in the state of Louisiana. Louisiana has an open “look back” window that revives most child sexual abuse claims. The window closes on July 31, 2024, so survivors should file a claim soon.

Learn more about child sexual abuse statutes in Louisiana here >

How Do I Report Sexual Abuse By A Priest In Louisiana?

If you or a suspected victim is in danger, call 911 immediately.

Incidents of child abuse, including child sexual abuse, can be reported to the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Call the department’s reporting hotline at 855-4LA-KIDS (52-5437).

Learn more about reporting sexual abuse and assault here >

After you report incidents of clergy abuse to the DCFS, you can also report the abuse to the applicable diocese.

  • Report Abuse To The New Orleans Archdiocese

    Victims Assistance Coordinator
    Phone: 504-522-5019

  • Report Abuse To The Alexandria Diocese

    Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist | Victims Assistance Coordinator
    Phone: 318-542-9805

  • Report Abuse To The Baton Rouge Diocese

    Amy Cordon | Child and Youth Protection Officer
    Phone: 225-242-0202

  • Report Abuse To The Houma-Thibodaux Diocese

    Phone: 985-873-0026

  • Report Abuse To The Lafayette Diocese

    Joseph Pisano, Jr. | Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator
    Phone: 337-298-2987

  • Report Abuse To The Shreveport Diocese

    Mary Katherine Arcement | Victim Assistance Minister
    Phone: 318-584-2411

Louisiana Clergy Abuse News

All Clergy Abuse News

Need Support?

Free, Confidential Case Evaluation.

If you or a loved one have suffered from the physical, mental and emotional effects of institutional sex abuse, you’re entitled to legal representation and possible financial compensation.
Receive your response in 24 hours

Ron Meneo, Managing Partner at Meneo Law Group.

Meneo Group managing partner: Ron Meneo

Ron Meneo is the managing partner of The Meneo Law Group. With more than 40 years of experience, he represents clients across the country on a variety of complex legal matters, including personal injury due to institutional sexual abuse, unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and other practice areas. He is a recipient of Martindale-Hubbell’s prestigious AV® Preeminent Rating. He has also served as an editor and contributor for several legal journals.

Sources [+]