Trial of Ex-priest Mark Broussard - Day 3
By Theresa Schmidt
February 4, 2016
|Mark Broussard (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office).|
Ongoing testimony in the trial of ex-priest Mark Broussard shows a lengthy history of alleged sexual abuse of boys dating back to the early 1980s - until he left the priesthood in 1994.
Wednesday's testimony revealed information about yet a fourth adult who said he was a victim of Broussard even before he was a priest.
The case against Broussard is unfolding through the testimony of witnesses who've told how, when they were boys, he would gain their trust - often first by inviting them to McDonald's. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office Det. Kathy LeBlanc, who interviewed the victims, said they told her, "He'd gain their trust. Take them to McDonald's. Make them feel special."
LeBlanc also testified about how two of the victims who'd never met each other testified that Broussard had a foot fetish.
She told of her conversation with one man who said he had never told anyone what happened and spent his whole life trying to hide it and act like it never occurred. He was an altar server at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church during the year 1986 and 1988.
LeBlanc said that man, who testified earlier, said, "Anytime he and Broussard were together, there was some type of inappropriate behavior by Broussard."
LeBlanc said the victim told her the rectory was better for Broussard because it was more private. She said he confirmed "fondling progressed to oral sex and anal sex." It extended from the time he was "about 10 years old until 14 years old."
LeBlanc asked the victim to try to estimate the numbers of the various types of assaults and he "estimated numbers at daily or every other day," and that the numbers of "various types of sexual assault were 30, 40, 50 or 60 times."
At one point, LeBlanc said, the former altar boy began crying like a baby, expressing the horrible effect it all had on his life. She said he told her, he "spent most of his adult life trying to hide it and not let it affect his life,"and that he had problems with depression and alcohol.
Late in the afternoon, the jury heard a video statement of Broussard in 2012 throughout which he adamantly denies any relationship with the boy from St. Henry Catholic Church who testified earlier about being molested and raped, though Broussard does admit he has a problem for which he sought treatment at a facility in New Mexico called Servants of the Paraclete.
Earlier, the jury heard from Diocese Administrator George Stearns about various personnel records and a report on Broussard.
It came out that when Broussard first applied to enter the seminary, he was turned down, but that upon further evaluation, he was accepted on the condition that he undergo continuing psychotherapy. According to testimony. Broussard did not continue therapy while in the seminary, but it's unclear whether it was an oversight or some other reason.
Stearns testified about a complaint against Broussard that was dealt with confidentially and therefore, not reflected in the diocese's personnel records.
Testimony was also heard on Wednesday about letter in 1993 about a sexual abuse situation that arose involving Broussard. Msgr. Harry Greig was appointed to investigate allegations against Broussard, and developed information about his sexual abuse of minors and victim which became part of the diocese file.
When allegations surfaced in 2011, by then the church had revised it's policies concerning reporting of child sexual abuse and Stearns said allegations were immediately turned over to authorities.
Broussard is charged with molestation of a juvenile, oral sexual battery, aggravated oral sexual battery and two counts of aggravated rape.
The allegations for which he is charged, revolve around Broussard's time as a priest at Our Lady Queen of Heaven and St. Henry Catholic Church, from 1986-91. IN 2012 Bishop Glen John Provost made a pastoral visit to St. Henry Church
The trial resumes Thursday morning. KPLC's Theresa Schmidt is covering the trial. Follow her at twitter.com/KplcTschmidt.
For information about a commission set up to protect minors click here. The local diocese has also published information, resources and contacts to protect minors