Slidell priest accused of sexual abuse for a second time

WDSU [New Orleans]

October 26, 2022

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a priest accused of molestation for the second time.

The sheriff said a second accuser came forward with accusations of molestation against Patrick Wattigny.

In October 2020, Wattigny was arrested on molestation charges after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor in 2013 while serving as pastor of a Slidell-area church.

In August 2022, a second accuser contacted the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and told the sheriff of sexual abuse by Wattigny.

The accuser, who is an adult now, said that he was abused by Wattigny while he was an elementary student at a Covington-area Catholic school.

An arrest warrant was issued for Wattigny, and he was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center for one count of molestation of a juvenile.

“It is deeply disturbing when an individual in a position of authority uses that position to prey on the most defenseless of our population – our children,” Sheriff Randy Smith said in a statement.