Man Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail for Molestations

By Christopher Baughman
The Advocate [Baton Rouge, Louisiana]
August 14, 1996

A former priest who later served as a New Orleans police officer will serve 90 days in jail for molesting three girls, a judge ordered Tuesday.

State District Judge Mike Erwin also sentenced 60-year-old Francis William "Billy" LeBlanc to five years probation.

The parents of one victim said the sentence satisfied them.

"I'm glad to see that he didn't get away with just probation," the father of the victim said. "At least this way, the children know he didn't get slapped on the hand. "

His wife said the sentence would make the victims know they did the right thing by reporting the attacks.

"They didn't come forward for nothing," the woman said.

LeBlanc, 1717 Job St., Zachary, pleaded guilty in May to three counts of molestation of a juvenile, prosecutor Jennifer Pate said.

LeBlanc was accused of touching the girls on the outsides of their clothes on several occasions between March 1994 and August 1995, Pate said.

The girls were between the ages 7 and 10 at the time.

LeBlanc served as a Catholic priest for about 8 years, ending in 1967, said his lawyer, Jack Dampf.

LeBlanc then joined the New Orleans Police Department, retiring as a captain after 20 years, Dampf said.

LeBlanc has done volunteer work and community service since his retirement. And since his arrest, LeBlanc has been in therapy, Dampf said.

"It's a compulsion he's working to control," Dampf said of his client's behavior.

LeBlanc admits he has a problem, Dampf said. He pleaded guilty to keep the children from having to testify in court.

"He admitted from day one that he did it," Dampf said. "He did not want to put the kids through the judicial process. "

Erwin added 13 conditions to LeBlanc's probation. Among them, LeBlanc must stay away from his victims, continue his therapy, pay for therapy for his victims and perform 500 hours of community service.

Dampf, who said Erwin labored over the sentencing, said the punishment was fair.

Pate said she had hoped for more jail time.

But Erwin, noting LeBlanc's clean record before his arrest as well as the man's age, said 90 days in the Parish Prison should provide the appropriate "shock value. "

And Erwin warned that he would sentence LeBlanc to 30 years in prison if he breaks the terms of his probation.

"I won't lose a bit of sleep when I do it," Erwin told LeBlanc.


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