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Lafayette Louisiana is a profoundly catholic community and has been ever since the 1700s when French settlers first arrived at the region and began building places of worship. Locals shared an opinion that priests are sacred leaders. Regrettably, this kind of reverence for the church and priests allowed people like the Reverend Gilbert Gauthe to prey on young boys.
When Gauthe first appeared in the area in the 1970s, parents didn’t think to question his involvement with boys. They thought that he was working in good faith as a leader and mentor. Yet, there have been clear indicators that something wasn’t quite proper; holding early morning practices for alter boys, having slumber parties at the rectory, even placing bars on his windows at home. Over the coming ten years, he persisted to target and abuse boys and the Bishop Harry Flynn did nothing. Boys made complaints and he did nothing. Ultimately, after more allegations were made, Gauthe was relocated to Henry, Louisiana. The only problem was, now he had a new set of boys to target.
Clergy Abuse Lawyer Louisiana
In 1983, a young child told his father about what Gauthe had been up to and Gauthe was sent away from the parish for much needed psychological treatment. The church made an effort to keep the story quiet by offering several families settlements that would have amounted to millions of dollars. Fortunately, one family declined to accept the hush money and went public with the case. Eventually, Gauthe admitted to abusing over 300 children and the man was sentenced to jail for two decades.
Once communities around Louisiana concluded that the Catholic church had intentionally covered up Gauthe’s abuse and allowed him to continue to serve, they started to question just how widespread the issue had been and whether other abusers have been taken care of with the same light hand. Paperwork is still being revealed that clearly show that the church had moved certain priests around that had been accused of abusing kids. At the outset, Harry Flynn was praised for his steps in the Gauthe case, but his deceitful practices that allowed abuse to continue on were eventually exposed. Now there was nowhere to hide.
Clergy Abuse Lawyer Louisiana
Even now, the Catholic sex abuse scandal continues to unravel and the Vatican is having difficulties with how to admit and compensate victims while also approaching a systemic problem that goes all the way to the top. Stay tuned as this frightening saga continues to unfold.
Clergy Abuse Lawyers Louisiana
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