Former Priest Arrested for Sexual Battery
March 24, 2012
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — A former priest in two area Catholic churches has been charged with two counts of aggravated rape and 52 counts of sexual battery, according to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office.
Kim Myers, a sheriff's office spokeswoman, tells the American Press ( ) that 56-year-old Mark A. Broussard, who left the priesthood in the mid-1990s, was charged with engaging in sexual conduct with an 8-year-old parishioner from 1986 to 1989.
Victims of sex crimes have 30 years after their 18th birthday to report abuse.
Broussard was arrested Thursday in his home in Duson. Broussard is being held in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on a $1 million bond.
Myers said the sheriff's office on Dec. 22 received a letter from a local law firm writing on the diocese's behalf. Myers said the letter said a 34-year-old man alleged the priest had molested him years ago.
Records at the Diocese of Lake Charles show Broussard served at St. Henry Catholic Church in Lake Charles — where the victim and his family attended Mass — until 1992. He then served at St. Eugene Catholic Church in Grand Chenier until 1994.
Myers said documents in the priest's personnel file indicated there were at least four other sex-abuse victims. The cases were not reported to authorities. She said authorities will not be able to investigate the other cases unless the victims file reports with the police.
Sheriff Tony Mancuso said deputies have been working closely with the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office "due to the seriousness of the accusations and the fact that it happened 25 years ago."
In a statement released Friday, the Diocese of Lake Charles said: "In December 2011, the Diocese of Lake Charles received credible allegations regarding the activities of the ex-priest, Mark A. Broussard, and immediately reported the allegations to the district attorney and sheriff. The Diocese of Lake Charles has and will continue to cooperate fully with all civil authorities. In light of the ongoing proceedings, the Diocese will have no further comment on this matter. Bishop Provost offers his prayers and concern to all victims of sexual abuse, most especially this victim and his family."