Diocese of Lafayette puts deacon on leave pending sex abuse investigation

Daily Advertiser [Lafayette LA]

June 23, 2021

The Diocese of Lafayette has received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Deacon Shawn Jude Gautreaux, according to a news release. 

Following an initial inquiry, the Diocese has placed Gautreaux on administrative leave pending a further determination in the matter. 

The allegation received, according to the release, relates to a period of time many years before he was ordained a deacon. Further, the Diocese has reported the allegation to law enforcement authorities in St. Martin Parish. 

The Diocese reportedly is unaware of any other allegations involving Gautreaux at this time.

According to the release from the Diocese, staff is continuing to cooperate fully with law enforcement and anyone with any information on any cases of possible abuse is urged to come forward to local law enforcement authorities and to the Diocese.

In response, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) issued the following statement:

“It is what the Diocese of Lafayette is not sharing that concerns us. Our view is that vital information is disclosed about how long Deacon Gautreaux has served at St. Bernard Parish? Important information relating to his ordination date, programs or committees he participated in is vital to informing the parish community and the community as a whole.

“We hope the Diocese of Lafayette keeps to its word by committing to cooperation with investigative authorities. We also encourage anyone who may have information or who may have been abused themselves to make a report to law enforcement.”