State News

Former priest charged with 52 counts of sexual battery

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Posted: Mar 23, 2012 1:48 PM by Romni DiJohn
Updated: Mar 23, 2012 1:48 PM
Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office

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Topics: wbrz, louisiana, priest, sex, boy, diocese, molestation, st.henry, catholic, church, lake, charles, duson, mark, broussard

DUSON - Law enforcement officials arrested a former priest in Duson Thursday for allegedly having sexual contact with an 8-year-old boy between 1986 and 1989 while a priest at St. Henry Catholic Church in Lake Charles.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office (CPSO) and Louisiana State Police charged Mark A. Broussard, 56, of 132 Canary Lane in Duson with two counts of aggravated battery, 52 counts of sexual battery and booked him into the Calcasieu Correctional Center.

"Documents were located in the priest's personnel file where the priest indicated sexual contact with at least four other male children. These incidents were not reported to law enforcement," said CPSO spokesperson Kim Myers.

An investigation started on December 22, 2011 when CPSO received a letter a law firm associated the Diocese of Lake Charles.

The letter said they had received a complaint from the 34-year-old victim alleging that Broussard molested him.

"The priest left St. Henry Catholic Church in 1992 and was relocated to St. Eugene Catholic Church in Grand Chenier, where he resigned from the priesthood in 1994," Myers said.

"We have been working very closely with District Attorney DeRosier on this case due to the seriousness of the accusations and the fact that it happened 25 years ago," says Sheriff Mancuso.

"We hear these types of cases happening all over the country but when it hits home it becomes reality. We feel for this victim and we're hoping to get some closure for him through the justice system."

District Attorney DeRosier said, "Anytime a child is victimized is heartbreaking, but when the abuser is in a position to influence the child, it is particularly upsetting. We intend to prosecute this defendant to the fullest extent of the law."

DeRosier adds, "Victims of sexual crimes have 30 years after their 18th birthday to report incidents. If you have been a victim, I encourage you to report it to law enforcement."

Judge David Ritchie set Broussard's bond at $1,020,000.

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