Former Priest Found Guilty of Rape, Molestation, Sexual Battery
February 5, 2016
Former priest Mark Broussard was found guilty of two counts aggravated rape, one count molestation of a juvenile, one count aggravated oral sexual battery and one count oral sexual battery.
The jury in his Calcasieu Parish case handed up the verdict shortly before 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Broussard will be sentenced on March 11. Following the reading of the verdict, 14th Judicial District Judge David Ritchie ordered Broussard be held in prison pending sentencing.
Broussard faces a life sentence for each count of aggravated rape.
Detective Katherine LeBlanc investigated the case for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
First Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Killingsworth prosecuted the case for the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office with the help of Assistant District Attorney Jacob Johnson.
A fourth victim testified Thursday in the molestation trial of former priest Mark Broussard.
KPLC reports that this victim told jurors that he was molested by Broussard during Broussard's time in Eunice. He said Broussard would buy him alcohol and convince him to have sex.
Closing arguments are set to begin Friday.
Wednesday was the third day of trial for former priest Mark Broussard, who is facing child molestation charges that date back to the 1980's.
Broussard was living in Duson when he was arrested in 2012 on rape and sexual battery charges after a letter surfaced in late 2011, alleging that the former priest had sexually abused a Calcasieu Parish man as a child.
Wednesday morning, the prosecution was still calling witnesses for its case. A deacon with the Lake Charles Diocese took the stand to testify for the state.
The deacon presented Broussard's personnel files from when he was with the diocese, including a letter Broussard wrote to his friends and family in 1994.
The letter was written two days before his resignation from the priesthood to tell his loved ones that he was leaving the church, "It is best for me and it is best for the Church," read one line of the letter.
Defense attorneys later asked the deacon if all of Broussard's files were produced to the court with the subpoena. The defense suggested there was one file left out of the record regarding a complaint and monetary settlement that involved Broussard.
The deacon admitted he had knowledge of that document, but told the court that he believed everything requested by the subpoena had been turned in properly.
The deacon's testimony comes after two prior days of testimony, including three alleged victims of Broussard's sexual abuse and one of the victim's mothers.
Wednesday afternoon, a detective who worked on the investigation into the allegations against Broussard testified.
The detective said she interviewed the alleged victims in the case and believed them to be very credible and convincing. The detective testified that all of the witnesses said that any time they were with Broussard, there was inappropriate activity.
The detective also interviewed Broussard in Lafayette Parish in 2012 about his involvement in the sex crimes.
The trial is set to continue Thursday morning.