Fr. Joseph P. Lessard

Ordained: 1952
Status: Settled

Diocese: Archdiocese of St. Louis MO

Admitted in 2002 to sexually abusing 12 boys in three parishes in the 1970s. Allegedly threatened victims with a gun; older victims coerced younger ones. Used camper in abuse. After a 1976 complaint Lessard was transferred to a new parish, then treated in MN. Went to NM Paraclete halfway house in 1979 and was a hospital chaplain afterward. Was parish priest again before retiring in 1993. Archdiocesan lawyers settled two complaints 1996-97. New suit filed 6/05 alleged abuse from 1985-92. May have settled 7/08. On archdiocese’s list 7/26/19. Died in 2014.

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