July 30, 2014
On June 15, 1992, a 26-year-old man provided a legal statement accusing three Diocese of Lafayette priests of sexual misconduct against him in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of those priests, Ronald Lane “Jean Paul” Fontenot, pleaded guilty and was convicted in 1986 of statutory rape in Spokane, Washington, where he was transferred for counseling after he was placed on leave in Lafayette in 1983 when a civil lawsuit was filed.
A second priest, David Primeaux, admitted in a 1984 psychological evaluation that he started abusing children in 1980 at St. Benedict in Covington. The Diocese settled a lawsuit in 2000 in which Primeaux allegedly admitted molesting a boy while serving at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Milton in the early 1980s.
Primeaux left the priesthood in 1985 and later got married. When some of his victims confronted the wife of the priest-turned-professor in Virginia in December 2012, he committed suicide.
The final priest accused by the young man is the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, who today serves as pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
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