Fr. Lawrence Hecker

Ordained: 1958
Status: Indicted

Diocese: Archdiocese of New Orleans LA

Monsignor. First named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/2/2018. It notes an allegation received in 1996 of abuse in the late 1960s and the 1970s. Had been confronted in 1988 by Archbishop Hannan about an allegation he had abused a boy. Confessed to his superiors in 1999 to the sexual abuse of seven teenagers 1966-1979. A victim had come forward weeks after Hecker was made monsignor. Sent to treatment, diagnosed as a pedophile. Also found to have sexually abused an adult male with a mental disability. Kept in ministry until he was allowed to quietly retire in 2002. The Review Board recommended Hecker be monitored; in 2020 Hecker said he was unaware of any monitoring. Accused in a 4/2019 lawsuit of fondling a group of boys at St. Joseph’s in Gretna in 1968. On the Baton Rouge diocese’s list in early 2019. Per attorneys, Hecker was a serial pedophile who abused “countless” children, and the archdiocese knew for decades. One man alleged he was “choked out and raped” by Hecker as a child. The church acknowledged in 3/2020 that there had been settlements in four cases involving Hecker, and of a first report in 1988. Subject of an FBI investigation in 2022. Archdiocesan files regarding Hecker were given in 6/2023 to the New Orleans district attorney. Admitted to a news reporter in 8/2023 that he committed “overtly sexual acts” with at least three boys in the late 1960s and 1970s and to having close relationships with four others into the 1980s. Criminally charged 9/7/2023 with the rape and kidnapping of a teenager decades prior. Pleaded not guilty 9/13/2023. Trial set for 3/25/2024 postponed pending a mental competency evaluation of Hecker.

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