The Diocese of Lafayette is defending one of its priests after old allegations of sexual abuse resurface in a report by Minnesota Public Radio.
Father Gilbert Dutel (pictured) is the priest at St. Edmund Catholic Church in Lafayette. In a recently-released court deposition from 1992, an alleged victim claimed Fr. Dutel sexually abused him when he was a child.
When the allegations first surfaced in the 1990’s, the Diocese of Lafayette, under then-Bishop Harry Flynn, investigated and found no truth to the allegations against Fr. Dutel.
The Diocese of Lafayette released the following statement Wednesday:
Many years ago, unproven allegations were made about Father Gilbert Dutel. An investigation took place back then which considered the totality of the facts available. No new information exists that warrants any action by the Diocese. In the absence of any contrary information, Father Dutel remains a priest in good standing at the Diocese of Lafayette.
The Diocese of Lafayette is committed to providing a safe environment for children. Anyone who has been a victim of abuse by church personnel or who may have information concerning a crime is encouraged to call a local law enforcement agency.
In light of the report by Minnesota Public Radio, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, SNAP, is calling for Father Dutel to be suspended.
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