New Orleans court appoints sanity commission for Lawrence Hecker

WDSU [New Orleans]

March 15, 2024

By Aubry Killion

A former New Orleans priest accused of rape and kidnapping a child in the 1970s will undergo a mental evaluation ahead of his trial.

New court records state after a motion for psychiatric evaluation was filed. The court will appoint the sanity commission in this matter. A mental competency hearing has been set for Lawrence Hecker this month.

This is just days before his trial, which is set to begin on March 25.

His attorneys said that Lawrence Hecker is in restraints and is on antipsychotic medication.

According to the filing, Hecker is currently in a continued care facility where records show he is “confused” and “in restraints for his own protection” after pulling out his IVs.

This comes after his attorneys said Hecker was “barely conscious” and questioned if he would be healthy enough for trial in March.

WDSU obtained records in the case. Prosecutors say Hecker is a serial child abuser and rapist and a diagnosed pedophile who continues to possess child pornography.

Hecker is accused of choking the victim until he was unconscious and raping him.

The prosecutors in the case said that if they needed to bring Hecker in on a gurney, they would. Prosecutors said he appeared to be fine and resting comfortably.

The judge said the plan is to proceed and go to trial.

WDSU investigative reporter Aubry Killion spoke with Hecker last June. When asked about the abuse allegations, Hecker said, “There is good and bad in everybody.”