Deposing Catholic School Priest Would "Harass and Embarrass" Him, Regarding Past Sex Allegations

By Kati Weis
June 27, 2015

[with video]

According to the most recent court documents filed in Mobile County Circuit Court, attorneys for Father Johnny Savoie are still trying to block subpoenas requesting to hear his sworn testimony about previous allegations against him.

They're even saying that requiring his testimony would "harass and embarrass" him.

This all began when parents of former students at St. Pius X Catholic School in Mobile filed suit against the school, alleging the school's administrators did nothing to stop their children from being bullied.

So far, 15 plaintiffs, including parents, former, and current students, have filed in the suit against the school.

While pursuing that lawsuit, lawyers representing the plaintiffs found a statement Savoie made to his congregation last year, denying sexual misconduct allegations involving a teenage boy.

According to court documents, Savoie said the alleged misconduct was reported to have happened in 2005, when he was working as a priest at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Fairhope.

According to court documents, Savoie was accused of having the relationship with the boy for two years from the time he was 16 to 18 years of age.

The Baldwin County District Attorney's Office said the Archdiocese reached out for council about the allegations, but because the boy was of the age of consent, and any relationship was said to be consensual, the District Attorney said there were no criminal allegations to investigate.

Now, attorneys representing the plaintiffs want to know more about those allegations, as they say their bullying case involves the well-being of children.

But, in a court document filed last week, Savoie's attorneys say the allegations "have absolutely no connection whatsoever to the plaintiff's claims of bullying," and for lawyers to pry any further would "harass and embarrass Father Savoie."

According to the Archdiocese of Mobile Child Protection Policy written in 2009, church officials state "there will be no tolerance of abuse of minors on the part of those who serve the church," and, a minor is defined as someone under the age of 18, and child abuse is defined in that handbook as any sexual act or interaction with or without consent.

Calls and emails to the Archdiocese and its lawyers have so far not been returned.

Plaintiff's attorneys were unavailable for comment.








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