Tuesday, February 19, 2019

DA: Looking at abuse by clergy, offers resources for victims

DA: Looking at abuse by clergy, offers resources for victims
Posted: Feb 4, 2019
Categories: Front Page, Headlines
Comments: 0
From District Attorney Scott Perrilloux:
AMITE---As we learned last week, the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Baton Rouge released information which identified members of the clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

Included in the list were three priests who served in this area. Clergy Antonio Gonzales, Brady Patrick and Bryan Fontenot were assigned to St. Margaret Church in Albany, Holy Ghost Church in Hammond, and St. Joseph Church in Ponchatoula, respectively. According to the Diocese, Gonzales and Patrick are deceased and Fontenot’s ministry has been terminated.

The District Attorney’s office and law enforcement are prepared to work with any victims of this reported abuse to discuss possible criminal charges which may apply in each case. Louisiana law has extended the statute of limitation on certain cases of sexual abuse crimes but each allegation should be reviewed on a case by case basis.

I realize the release of this information may cause a re-traumatization for victims. The District Attorney’s office will assist those victims who may benefit from support and therapy in providing resources to those affected by prior abuse. As in all case of sexual abuse, there is no requirement for an official or criminal complaint to seek these services.

Please call the District Attorney’s Victim Assistance Division at (985) 748-7890 and ask to speak with a member of the Sexual Assault Resource Team for more information on resources for support and therapy or to report an offense.