Troubling Trends Continue in Louisiana

Adam Horowitz Law [Fort Lauderdale, FL]

January 17, 2024

Last month, we delved into the unsettling pattern of predator priests being transferred in and out of rural Louisiana, primarily focusing on the Lafayette Diocese. Since then, our scrutiny has turned to other predominantly rural dioceses in Louisiana, namely Lake Charles, Shreveport, and Alexandria. The troubling trends continue in these areas as we unearth more disturbing findings.


In April 2019, Lake Charles Bishop Glen Provost put forward a list of credibly accused clergy, appending two additional names: Fr. Edward Normanmtowicz and Fr. Valerie Pullman. The Diocese of Lake Charles encompasses the southwestern Louisiana parishes of Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis.

Within this context, alarming evidence emerges of numerous clerics involved in child molestation. They occupy different locations, translating to rapid relocations. Take Fr. Charles Soileau, for instance. He was active in Houston, Texas, and several Louisiana towns: Vinton, Grand Chenier, Oakdale, Raymond, Iberia, Erath, Washington, Lake Arthur, St. Benedict, and New Orleans.

Other priests, like Fr. Juan AlersFr. J. Richard Chachere, and Fr. Mark A. Broussard, have spent time in various parts of Louisiana as well as states like Florida, Georgia, Washington DC, Italy, Belgium, and even Puerto Rico. Br. Edmund Normantowicz (also Edward Normanmtowicz) was also in St. Louis, MO, and Hartford, CT. Fr. J. Patrick Walsh was also in New Orleans and El Paso, TX, and Fr. Gregory Mosca was also in Houston, TX. 


Though the Alexandria diocese goes to the trouble of discussing predator priests on the diocesan website, the information provided is bewilderingly sparse. Knowledge of the whereabouts of these child molesters is disturbingly insufficient. Though a limited handful – like Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in Lafayette, Fr. Norman Rogge in Florida, Fr. John Franklin in Alabama, Fr. Michael G. Hannon in Brooklyn, and Fr. Antonio Valez-Lopez in Baltimore – are identified clearly, information on the others remains scanty.

The lack of information leaves us questioning if this pattern of child molesting clerics in smaller Louisiana towns and remote rural areas has truly held firm in Alexandria. However, it’s worth noting that the Alexandria Diocese has had several predator priests who officially belonged to Catholic religious orders, including the Capuchin Friars, the Society of Jesus, the Clerics of Saint Viator, Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Congregation of Capuchin Religious Tertiaries of Our Lady of Sorrows. Often, religious order clerics have moved around more than diocesan clerics, which are known for frequent intercity and interstate clerical transfers.


The Shreveport Diocese appears to follow the Alexandria Diocese’s trend of providing little to no useful information about their predator priests. Bishop Francis Malone’s disclosure practices leave much to be desired, as vital information on predator priests working outside the locality is usually left out entirely. For example, Bishop Malone lists only local assignments in each cleric’s work history. In other words, if Fr. Mike worked in New Orleans, New Mexico, New Delhi, or New York, one would not know this by looking at the official diocesan ‘credibly accused’ priests.

For example, a very quick search for “Shreveport” on turned up Fr. Claude P. Boudreaux, a credibly accused New Orleans Jesuit who also worked in India, Rome, Mobile, Alabama, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, Dallas, Texas, and Shreveport.

Fr. Shan Chemmampallil, who is from India and was ordained in 2014, was removed from ministry in 2021 for violating the Shreveport diocese’s ‘Policy Concerning Sexual Abuse of Minors.’ More importantly, Fr. Chemmampallil was criminally charged on four counts of the possession and distribution of images and videos of the sexual abuse of children and two counts of the sexual abuse of animals. Yet Bishop Malone refuses to list him on the diocesan ‘credibly accused’ list.

By suppressing facts and keeping debates at bay, are we not jeopardizing countless lives by allowing these child molesters to continue their duties as clerics around unsuspecting families? Hidden under this veil of secrecy, how many other predator priests have been allowed to continue their destructive path, unexposed and unpunished?

For those who argue that it’s theoretically possible for every child molesting Shreveport cleric to have worked only within the designated diocese, the chances are slim practically. Clerics are frequently sent outside their home diocese for various reasons, thereby increasing their chances of having worked in selective locations known only to the diocese.

We at Horowitz Law have never seen a diocese in which every single sex offender cleric lived and worked only in that diocese. It also defies common sense. Many, if not most, Catholic clerics are sent outside their home diocese temporarily for a wide range of reasons, including further study, health reasons, and family considerations. According to church officials, these are the proven, admitted, and credibly accused Shreveport Diocese clerics: Fr. Edward T. Allen, Fr. William Allison, Fr. William C. Bressler, Msgr. Paul Conway, Fr. Francis O. Couvillion, Fr. Francis P. Donohoe, Fr. Harvey Fortier, Fr. John Franklin, Msgr. Robert Friend, Fr. Moise R. Gremillion, Fr. Michael G. Hannon, Fr. Kenneth Mathews, Fr. David Rogers, Fr. Louis Senesac, Fr. Victor Sepsi, Msgr. H. Clinton Teachle and Fr. Leger Trembley. As always, we strongly suspect this is an incomplete list. Notice there are no nuns, brothers, monks, seminarians, or even lay church employees on it.

In light of these repeated unsettling trends, we at Horowitz Law strongly advise anyone who has experienced, suspected, or been witness to any abuse or immoral conduct by current or former Louisiana church staffers to consult with an experienced attorney. The fight for justice begins with understanding your rights and options. Information is power. Use yours wisely.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by religious authority figures and other clergy. If you need a lawyer because a member of a religious organization sexually abused you, contact us today at 888-283-9922 or to discuss your options today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help.