Lawsuit: Diocese of Alexandria frequently moved priest accused of sexual abuse

Town Talk

August 22, 2020

By Melissa Gregory

A lawsuit filed this month in Alexandria calls a Catholic priest a “diseased pedophile who raped and sexually assaulted many young boys.” The priest, the Rev. Leo Van Hoorn, was among 27 named in a February 2019 letter from Bishop David P. Talley as having credible accusations of sexual abuse against minors.

The lawsuit claims Van Hoorn, who died in 2006 at age 74 in Baton Rouge, was “moved frequently throughout the various parishes of the Diocese of Alexandria.”

The Diocese of Alexandria is the sole defendant named in the lawsuit, which was recorded on Aug. 3. It has not answered the lawsuit yet, and a Friday email and telephone message seeking comment weren’t immediately answered.

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The victim is referred to only as Lou Doe. The alleged abuse against Doe happened in 1962-63 while the child was in the first or second grade.

The Doe family’s children attended Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Pineville during the 1960s.

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