Were You Abused?

Louisiana Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer - Louisiana Catholic Church Sexual Assault Settlements LA

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church, you are not aloneWe are here to help you.  Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Louisiana Sexual Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case.   Help is available nationwide.  There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation.  Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing.  Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Louisiana

Reasons to call

  • Hold the church and priests accountable
  • Prevent this from happening to someone else
  • Help with the road to recovery – settlement money can provide financial security for you.  It can also help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical treatment

Please call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill out our confidential contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your case.  Louisiana Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Louisiana

Father Gilbert Gauthe and the First Sexual Abuse Scandal

Lafayette, Louisiana, is a deeply catholic community and has been since the 1700s when French settlers first came to the area and began building churches. Residents share a belief that priests are sacred leaders and the representative of Christ on earth. Unfortunately, this reverence for the church and priests allowed Reverend Gilbert Gauthe and other priests to prey on young boys and use them for their own deviant pleasures. His story is considered the first sex abuse scandal and served as the catalyst for uncovering decades or abuse and coverups.

Louisiana Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer

When Gauthe first arrived in the area in the 1970s, parents didn’t think to question his interest in boys. They assumed that he was acting in good faith as a leader and mentor who would see after their children’s spiritual upbringing. Yet, there were clear signs that something wasn’t quite right; He held 6 a.m. practices for altar boys, frequently held sleepovers at the rectory, place bars on his windows and slept with a gun next to his bed. Over the coming decade, he continued to target and abuse boys and the Bishop Harry Flynn did nothing about initial complaints from children. Eventually, after more allegations were made, Gauthe was transferred to Henry, Louisiana, where he was essentially handed a whole new church of victims to choose from.

Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Louisiana

In 1983, a young boy told his father about what Gauthe had been up to and Gauthe was sent away for psychological treatment. The church tried to keep the story quiet by offering nine families settlements that would have amounted to over $4 million. Fortunately, one family refused to accept the hush money and went public with the case. Eventually, Gauthe admitted to abusing over 300 children and he was sentenced to just 20 years in jail, but the scandal didn’t stop there.

Louisiana Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Once communities across Louisiana realized that the Catholic church had knowingly covered up Gauthe’s abuse and allowed him to continue to serve, they began to question just how widespread the problem had been and whether other abusers have been treated with the same light hand. Documents are still being uncovered that clearly show that the church had moved “problem” priests among different parishes when molestation allegations arose. Initially, Harry Flynn was applauded for his actions in the Gauthe case, but his deceptive practices that allowed abuse to continue were eventually exposed.

Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer Louisiana

Even now, the Catholic sex abuse scandal continues to unravel and the Vatican is struggling with how to acknowledge and compensate victims while also addressing a systemic problem that goes all the way to the top. Sadly enough, the Gilbert Gauthe case was simply the first of many revelations that rocked the Catholic church and shook the faith of even the most devout believers.

Louisiana Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 for a Free, Confidential Consultation.  No Legal Fees Unless You Receive Settlement. 

Priest Abuse Lawyer Louisiana - Free Confidential Consultation - 1-866-777-2557

Priest Sex Abuse Lawyer 

Call Today: 1-866-777-2557