Ex-Slidell Catholic priest’s juvenile molestation trial delayed again

WWL-TV [New Orleans LA]

March 21, 2023

By Kenny Kuhn

The trial of a former Slidell Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy has been delayed again.

As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial date was delayed Monday as jury selection for Patrick Wattigny was supposed to begin.

The north shore District Attorney’s Office said the trial will be rescheduled at a later date but did not say when that rescheduled date might be.

Wattigny was arrested in 2020 but released on bond and was awaiting trial on a count of molesting a 15-year-old boy starting in 2013. He pleaded not guilty to the first case in 2021.

In October, a second person reported to the St Tammany Sheriff’s Office that they too were abused by Wattigny, and was re-arrested on another charge of molesting a juvenile.

Wattigny served at a Covington church, St. Peter Catholic Church, in the mid-1990s. From 2000 to 2013, he returned as a pastor at St. Benilde Parish in Metairie and was chaplain at Archbishop Rummel High School, also in Metairie.

He then became a pastor at St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Slidell and chaplain at Pope John Paul II High School in 2020 until he was ordered to resign by the Archdiocese after he disclosed sending inappropriate text messages to a student and molesting a boy in 2013 to the Archdiocese in October 2020, and Archbishop Gregory Aymond removed him from ministry.