Alleged Victim Sues Ex-Priest, N.o., Lake Charles Dioceses
By Billy Gunn
February 25, 2013
LAFAYETTE — A former southwest Louisiana priest facing trial Sept. 16 on charges of sex crimes against boys from the late 1980s to the early 1990s “ought to be locked up for life,” an attorney for an alleged victim said Monday.
Felicia Peavy is one of two attorneys suing Mark Anthony Broussard and the Roman Catholic Church on behalf of her client, who is identified in court papers as John Doe I.
The civil action was filed in January in U.S. District Court in New Orleans and seeks a total of $18 million in damages.
The lawsuit also lists the Vatican; the Archdiocese of New Orleans and its archbishop, the Most Rev. Gregory M. Aymond; the Diocese of Lake Charles; and others as defendants in the lawsuit.
“During the course of extending himself as a positive adult male role model, holy cleric and priest and spiritual advisor … Broussard raped and sexually molested, abused and exploited (the victim) on a daily basis during his preadolescent years from 1985 to 1988,” the lawsuit states.
The Lake Charles Diocese, in a statement issued Friday and obtained by The Advocate on Monday, said it had been notified of the lawsuit, and that Broussard had resigned from the diocese 20 years ago.
“The Diocese of Lake Charles offers its prayers for healing and reconciliation to all parties involved,” the statement from diocese official Morris LeBleu reads.
On Monday, Peavy gave The Advocate a copy of the lawsuit.
Peavy and Barbara Dorris, victims outreach director of the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, were in Lake Charles last week advocating for more action to be taken by officials.
The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office at first arrested Broussard on more than 200 counts of sex crimes against boys.
Last year, the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office narrowed the scope, charging Broussard with 10 counts of sex crimes against children, including charges of aggravated rape and aggravated oral sexual battery.
On Monday, First Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Killingsworth said she will have to drop some charges because of laws regarding timely prosecution.
Killingsworth said the aggravated rape, aggravated oral sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery charges would remain.
The lawsuit states that Sheriff’s Office detectives contacted Broussard last year about a 1998 deposition transcript, which was found in Broussard’s personnel file at the Diocese of Lake Charles.
In the transcript, Broussard allegedly confesses to the abuse, the lawsuit states, and adds that the plaintiff’s memories of the abuse came back after seeing the transcript.
Church officials, who had Broussard’s alleged confessions in their files, “should have known of Broussard’s dangerous sexual propensities, yet (they) did nothing to terminate Broussard’s authority and power as a Roman Catholic cleric …,” the lawsuit states.
Broussard served at St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Lake Charles, and from 1992 to 1994 at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church in Grand Cheniere, in Cameron Parish, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also accuses Broussard of molesting his male victims from about 1984 until 1994.
Allegations by three alleged victims are the basis of the criminal case against Broussard.
Broussard, 57, was arrested at his Duson home on Canary Lane in March.
He is being held at the Calcasieu Correctional Facility, with bail set at $3.42 million.