Representing Child & Adult Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Cases in Louisiana

If you or someone you love was sexually abused by a Catholic priest or other member of the Catholic clergy in Louisiana, you may be entitled to compensation.

There have been multiple claims of child sexual abuse in all seven of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Louisiana since 1985 when a priest charged with the crime was found guilty and charged with sexual abuse. The church has long been accused of covering up and reporting child sexual abuse to protect itself, not the victims. 

Based on a recent ruling by the Louisiana Supreme Court, coupled with a recent change in the law, survivors of childhood sexual abuse in Louisiana, whose claims were barred by statute of limitations now have until June 14, 2027, to file a lawsuit against those responsible for the abuse. 

Levy Konigsberg is assisting survivors all around the state of Louisiana to help them use the opportunity created by this new law to pursue their legal options and get the justice they deserve from the Catholic Church. Our Louisiana clergy sexual abuse attorneys have gained national recognition for their efforts to defend victims of both adult and child sexual abuse.

FREE Consultations for Victims of Louisiana Clergy Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (318) 546-3996 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.

How Do Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Work?

 Levy Konigsberg has extensive experience representing survivors of sexual abuse in legal actions against the Catholic Church, its various dioceses, archdioceses, and independent Catholic institutions. These lawsuits not only hold abusers accountable but also enable survivors to hold institutions responsible for their failure to prevent abuse. 

In civil court, survivors can seek justice and receive compensation for their mistreatment. Unlike criminal court, which focuses on punishing abusers, civil court aims to financially compensate those who have suffered abuse. While no amount of money can erase the trauma endured by victims of sexual abuse, compensation can help cover medical expenses, therapy costs, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.

Since civil cases are distinct and separate from any criminal proceedings, you may still pursue legal action even if your abuser was never criminally charged or convicted.

We specialize in sexual abuse lawsuits against powerful institutions, including prisons, clergy, and juvenile detention centers.

We work on contingency, which means there’s no cost to hire and no fee unless we win.

History of Sexual Abuse in Louisiana Catholic Dioceses

Through extensive investigations, legal filings, and monetary settlements, it has become evident that child sexual abuse has deeply plagued Louisiana Catholic churches for decades. A significant factor has been the efforts of Catholic bishops to conceal these offenses and transfer the abusers to other parishes, where they often maintained unsupervised contact with young people.

As lawsuits continue to emerge and media coverage intensifies, more information has come to light. The latest information on sexual abuse in regards to the Catholic Church in Louisiana includes the following:

  • Authorities have widened their investigation into clergy sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans. This expansion now involves senior church officials who are suspected of protecting predatory priests over several decades and not informing law enforcement about their crimes.  In April 2024,The Louisiana State Police executed a comprehensive search warrant at the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The warrant aimed to uncover a hidden collection of church records and communications between local church leaders and the Vatican concerning how cases of clergy sexual abuse were handled.
  • In 2023, Lawrence Hecker, a 91-year-old priest, was accused of choking and sexually assaulting a teenage boy back in 1975. Investigations revealed that the Archdiocese of New Orleans  allowed him to keep working around children till he retired in 2002 without reporting his crimes to the police.  Hecker was charged with four felonies: theft, aggravated crime against nature, kidnapping, and rape.
  • In July 2020, a survivor of clergy abuse filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Shreveport, alleging that he was abused as a child by former Catholic priest William Allison. The alleged abuse occurred before 1986 when the Shreveport diocese was part of the Diocese of Alexandria. Incidentally, In 2019, the Alexandria Diocese included Allison on its list of priests with credible abuse allegations.  Furthermore, survivors have come forward with abuse accusations against Allison in New Mexico, California, and Arizona. Allison died in 1987.
  • A 2019 news report stated that seventeen priests who served in Northern Louisiana faced accusations of sexually abusing minors before 1986. These priests were originally from the Diocese of Alexandria but later served in parishes that were integrated into the Diocese of Shreveport after 1986.
  • In 1985, Gilbert Gauthe confessed to sexually abusing 37 boys and pleaded guilty to 34 criminal charges. Concerns about Father Gauthe were already known to the diocese as early as the mid-1970s when parents reported that he had kissed two boys. Instead of addressing the issue, the diocese chose to relocate him to a different parish. Following Gauthe’s arrest, several other priests in the same diocese were also accused of sexually abusing children. Gauthe agreed to a plea deal, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and released after 10 years.

List of Priests Accused of Abuse in Louisiana

Many Louisiana Catholic Church priests have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. ProPublica has developed a searchable database containing the names of those who have been deemed credibly accused. This list is regularly updated to include new credible allegations. The number of those listed are:

Statute of limitations for Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits In Louisiana

In 2021, Louisiana lawmakers passed a three-year “lookback window” bill allowing child sex abuse survivors to file civil lawsuits against their abusers regardless of when the abuse occurred (with the initial filing period ending in June 2024). Recently, they extended this period until June 14, 2027.

The extension of the lookback window until June 14, 2027 is crucial for Catholic Church sex abuse survivors, offering them a chance to seek justice that would otherwise have been denied. The decision has significant implications for Louisiana’s Roman Catholic Church, which faces numerous sexual abuse lawsuits dating back decades in both state and federal courts.

Levy Konigsberg is helping survivors of Catholic sexual abuse in Louisiana learn about filing claims within the current time limits. If you were abused as a child and want to understand how the lookback window extension can assist you, we’re here to provide guidance.

Trust Levy Konigsberg's Legal Team for Proven Results in Sexual Abuse and Negligence Cases

Levy Konigsberg LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, has built a legacy over three decades, recovering over $3 billion in sexual abuse compensation for clients. Led by award-winning sexual abuse lawyers, we specialize in representing survivors in sexual abuse across the country, taking on powerful institutions. Our top-rated trial practice handles all types of sexual abuse or negligence cases, showcasing numerous testimonials and successful case results. You can learn more about our latest sexual abuse work on our blog.

FREE Consultations for Victims of Louisiana Clergy Sexual Abuse

Contact us today at (318) 546-3996 or email to discuss your case with our experienced legal team.


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