Former Convicted Priest Relased from Jail

By Pattie Shieh
My Fox Houston
April 23, 2010

[with video]

He is a pedophile priest accused of molesting an estimated 100 children in Louisiana. The trial of Gilbert Gauthe in 1985 was the first in U.S. history where details of a priest's sexual abuse were made widely public.

On Friday, Gauthe walked out of a Galveston County jail and took up residence in Santa Fe, Texas.

The crimes committed by the former priest have been the subject of countless stories and even a movie. Anyone can imagine the reaction of residents in the quiet neighborhood in which he will now live.

Gauthe, 64, does not look like a serial predator, but in 1985, he was convicted on 34 counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography in Louisiana. With good behavior, he was out of prison in less than 10 years.

Ten months later, the former priest was given 7 years probation for fondling a 3-year-old boy in Polk County in east Texas. The child's mother did not want her son taking the witness stand.

In 2008, La Marque police arrested Gauthe at a Galveston state park for failing to register as a sex offender.

After serving his 2 years, Gauthe walked out of the Gavleston County Jail on Friday. He and his attorney refused to comment.

But longtime residents had a lot to say.

"I'm asking myself all morning where is he going to live? Where is he going to live? Now, I found out he's going to live across the street from me." says Charlotte. She is worried about the many children in the neighborhood. Tearfully, she struggles to put her thoughts into words.

"I'm very upset. It used to be such a safe neighborhood and now we're not going to be safe and it's scary. I don't know how we're going to deal with at this point."

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