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.
Civil Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Louisiana
In Louisiana, there is no civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims. HB 492 eliminates the prior statute that required a survivor of child sex abuse to file an abuse claim before they turned 28 years of age.
For people sexually abused as children before HB 492 passed, the law provides a three-year “look back” window. During this period, victims can file a claim no matter how long ago the sexual abuse happened. After the “look back” window expires, older abuse claims may be time-barred and subject to the old statute’s 28-years-of-age cutoff.
Louisiana’s “Look Back” Window
HB 492 creates a three-year “look back” window. This retroactive window revives all expired civil claims of child sexual abuse in Louisiana.
For three years, survivors of childhood sexual abuse can file a 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 opened on August 1, 2021. The window will close on July 31, 2024.
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Criminal Statutes For Child Sex Abuse In Louisiana
In Louisiana, there is no criminal statute of limitations for aggravated and forcible rape. For all other sexual felonies, prosecutors must bring charges before the victim turns 48 years old. 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 Lawsuit in Louisiana
There Are 81 Accused Clergy Members From The Archdiocese Of New Orleans, LA:
- Alvin Marie, Sister
- Archer, Richard Raphael
- Avallone, Paul
- Basty, John
- Benedict, James
- Bezou, Henry C.
- Boudreaux, Claude P.
- Brady, Daniel Patrick
- Brignac, George
- Brueschere, Dave
- Calamari, Paul
- Cambiaire, Pierre Celestin
- Ceglar, Stanislaus
- Cinel, Dino
- Claudine, Marie
- Click, Patrick R.
- Collery, James
- Cosgrove, John L. Malachy
- Csik, Paul
- Dark, Lawrence
- Davidson, Carl
- DeRussy, Edward D.
- Dickerson, Donald J.
- Ducote, Jerome
- Dyer, Bernardine George
- Esposito, Anthony
- Fagione (Faggioni), Ernest
- Faler, Justin
- Farino, Michael
- Feehan, Vincent
- Fendin, Charles
- Fontenot, Bryan James
- Franklin, Jonathan W.
- Fraser, Michael B.
- Gandara, Robert
- Gertrude Marie, Sister
- Glapion, Lloyd
- Glasgow, Thomas Gaspard
- Hagan, Alvin Marie (Sister)
- Hamilton, Kenneth
- Harold, Brother
- Hebert, Raymond P.
- Hecker, Lawrence
- Henao, Luis E.
- Hotard, Howard
- Howell, Gerard Joseph
- Hurley, Michael F.
- Isgro, Salvatore "Sam"
- Keane, Patrick
- Kilgour, James
- Kita, August
- Ladet, Sister
- Landry, Wesley Michael
- Langenstein, Richard J.
- Laurdette, Sister
- Lawrence, Ralph
- LeBlanc, Francis William
- LeBourgeois, Louis
- Lockwood, James
- Martin Marie, Sister
- Martinez, Samuel F.
- Mary Omer, Sister
- Masters, Andrew
- Miller, William
- Ory, Claude
- Pankowski, Joseph
- Pearce, J. Donald
- Pimple, Alfred
- Powers, John Aquinas
- Putnam, Gorham Joseph
- Rogero, Elmo J.
- Sanders, Patrick
- Sax, John C.
- Seery, John
- Sokol, Alfred
- Stephen Rose, Sister
- Strassel, Malcolm
- Temme, Roger
- Thomann, John
- Weber, John Anthony
- Wren, Benjamin L.
There Are 28 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Alexandria, LA:
- Allen, Edward Terry/Terry E
- Allison, William G.
- Andries, John Wesley
- Conway, Paul
- Couvillion, Francis O.
- Dekeukelare, Charles
- Donohoe, Francis Patrick
- Fortier, Harvey J.
- Friend, Robert
- Gagne, Edmond L.
- Gremillion, Moise Richard
- Hannon, Michael G.
- Jones, Raymond M.
- Lelieveld, Theodore M.
- Lyons, Frederick J.
- Mathews, Kenneth M.
- McCarthy, Donald P.
- Medina-Cruz, Jamie
- Molenschot, Adrian
- Robitaille, Yves
- Rogers, Donald
- Senesac, Louis
- Sepsi, Victor
- Teacle, H. Clinton
- Tisch, Joseph
- Tremblay, J.C. Leger
- Van Hoorn, Leo
- Viviano, Nino
There Are 21 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Baton Rouge, LA:
- Berube, John Joseph
- Camenzuli, Carmelo Ignatius
- Chaloux, David William
- Clement, James Preston
- Coyne, John
- Duhe, Thomas P.
- Funnell, James
- Gensler, George David
- Gray, Bryan Keith
- Gyan, Eric
- Hemond, Alphonse Rodrigue
- Kearney, Myles Joseph
- Labaky, Mansour
- Landry, Clyde Bernard
- LeFrois, Joseph
- Lemoine, Daniel Paul
- Martrain, Nicholas Joseph
- Moran, Salvador Nickie
- Neubig, Henry
- Ortego, Jesse Ray
- Springer, Christopher Joseph
There Are 48 Accused Clergy Members From The Diocese Of Lafayette, LA:
- Arceneaux, Jules M.
- Arul, Susai
- Begnaud, Stanley
- Benedict, Michael
- Blanchard, Jody P.
- Bourgeois, J.M.
- Breaux, Lester
- Broussard, Felix David
- Broussard, Willis
- Coupar, David Anderson
- Curtis, George
- de Launay, Herbert
- deLeeuw/ de Leeuw, John
- DesJardins, Michael
- DesRosiers, N. Wilfred
- Dorsey, Rene
- Dutel, Gilbert
- Engbers, John Anthony Mary
- Fontenot, Ronald Lane
- Freyou, Leonard J.
- Gauthe, Gilbert
- Gilbert, Aldeo
- Guidry, Michael S.
- Hanemann, Louis
- Hebert, Lloyd P.
- Herpin, L. Michael
- Larriviere, Marshall R.
- Limoges, Robert Marcel
- Morvant, Kenneth
- Nunez, Albert G.
- Parks, Steven
- Pellettieri (Pelletieri), Joseph F.
- Porte, Cheryl
- Potier, Keith Anthony
- Pousson, Donald Raymond
- Primeaux, David
- Pullman, Valerie
- Quick, Harry
- Richard, Mark
- Rieboldt, Richard
- Robichaux, Robie
- Simoneaux, Jody J.
- Smit, Gerard/Gerald C.
- Toussaint, Jean
- Van Hal, Adrian Walter
- Van Merrianboer, Cornelius
- Veilleux, Rosaire
- Zaunbrecher, Charles J.
You may be unable to find the priest you are looking for within our Louisiana list of accused clergy members for several reasons:
- No allegations have been made against the priest or clergy member yet.
- The accused clergy member is listed under another state or diocese. Use our nationwide searchable database of accused clergy members to find the priest elsewhere.
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.
FBI Opens Investigation Into Child Sex Abuse in the New Orleans Archdiocese
In 2022, a report revealed that the FBI is investigating clergy abuse in the New Orleans Archdiocese. Specifically, the agency is looking into cases of clergy members taking children across state lines to molest them. These cases cover decades of abuse allegations.
Among the priests under investigation is Lawrence Hecker. The 90-year-old priest is already accused of abusing many children. In 2002, the archdiocese removed him from work involving regular contact with community members.
The fact that the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2020 does not shield it from criminal investigation. The FBI may decide to file criminal charges against abusive priests and the archdiocese. The investigation may also signal a change in the federal government’s willingness to look into cases of church sex abuse. In the past, it has rarely gotten involved in this type of case.
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. As of 2021, Louisiana has no deadline for filing child sexual abuse cases.
For people abused as children before the law changed, 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. Once the window closes, their claim may be time-barred and subject to the previous statute of limitations.
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).
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
Report Abuse To The Alexandria Diocese
Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist | Victims Assistance Coordinator
Report Abuse To The Baton Rouge Diocese
Amy Cordon | Child and Youth Protection Officer
Report Abuse To The Houma-Thibodaux Diocese
Report Abuse To The Lafayette Diocese
Joseph Pisano, Jr. | Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator
Report Abuse To The Shreveport Diocese
Mary Katherine Arcement | Victim Assistance Minister
Louisiana Clergy Abuse NewsAll Clergy Abuse News
The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations that priests in the New Orleans archdiocese trafficked children across state lines to molest them.
Lousiana lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate the legal deadline for child sex abuse claims. The bill also creates a 3-year “look back” window for survivors.
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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.
Archdiocese of New Orleans. (N.D.) Victims Assistance Coordinator. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
BishopAccountability.org. (N.D.) Sexual Abuse by U.S. Catholic Clergy. Retrieved July 29, 2021.
Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. (N.D.) To Report Child Sexual Abuse by a Cleric/Church Worker in the Diocese of Shreveport. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Child USA. (2020, February 13). Louisiana Child Sex Abuse SOLs. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Department of Children and Family Services. (N.D.) Reporting Child Abuse/Neglect. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Diocese of Alexandria. (2018, April). How To Report Sexual Abuse of a Minor by a Cleric or Church Worker/Volunteer of the Diocese of Alexandria [PDF].
Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux. (N.D.) Report Abuse. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Diocese of Lafayette. (N.D.) OFFICE OF SAFE ENVIRONMENT. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Enfinger, E. (2020, July 19). Lawsuit against Diocese of Shreveport claims priest sexually abused boy in the ’70s. Shreveport Times.
Hammer, D. (2020, December 18). Archdiocese of New Orleans pushed confidential settlements with victims of monstrous deacon George Brignac. 4WWL.
Louisiana Coalition of Domestic Violence. (N.D.) Home. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Mustian, J. (2022, July 1). FBI opens sweeping probe of clergy sex abuse in New Orleans. Associated Press.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge. (N.D.) How To Report Abuse. Retrieved July 22, 2021.
Wooten, N., Mott, A. (2019, February 6). 17 north Louisiana priests accused of sexually abusing children prior to 1986. Shreveport Times.