Priest who allegedly admitted 2013 child sex abuse under investigation by St. Tammany deputies

Times-Picayune and Advocate

October 15, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed this week that it is leading a criminal investigation into the Rev. Patrick Wattigny after the Catholic priest earlier this month allegedly admitted to molesting a minor nearly seven years ago.

If charges are brought, Wattigny, 53, would become only the third clergyman to be prosecuted by New Orleans-area law enforcement for alleged sex crimes involving children. Not one has been convicted of a crime.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond said he removed Wattigny from public ministry on Oct. 1 after the priest informed church superiors that he had abused a juvenile in December 2013. That was mere months after Wattigny had been transferred to new posts as pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist and chaplain at Pope John Paul II, both in Slidell, from similar positions at St. Benilde Parish and Archbishop Rummel High School, each in Metairie.

Aymond’s staff declined to specify where the alleged abuse occurred, saying only that appropriate law enforcement agencies had been notified.

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