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Parole unanimously denied to former St. Landry Parish pastor

2 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 18 2021 Aug 18, 2021 August 18, 2021 5:57 AM August 18, 2021 in News
Source: KATC
Michael Guidry Photo: KATC

ST. LANDRY PARISH -  A former St. Landry Parish pastor accused of child molestation requested early release, which the state parole board unanimously rejected Tuesday, KATC reports.

The inmate who made the request was 78-year-old Fr. Michael Guidry, who used to serve as pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow.

Guidry pleaded guilty to the molestation of a 16-year-old boy and was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2019.

For a short time, he was released due to appeals related to the COVID-19 pandemic. But after his sentencing appeals were denied he was returned to prison.

This week, all three members of the board commented on Guidry's seeming lack of remorse and inability to admit that he's a sex offender.

Board member Jim Wise asked Guidry why he wasn't showing any remorse and Guidry replied, "I don't know. I am remorseful."

During the meeting, Guidry was asked how they could be sure he wouldn't re-offend, and his response was that he would be in a nursing home "with just old people."

Guidry's attorney claimed that he has medical issues, including a head injury that resulted from a fall that affected his mind. For this reason, it was requested that he be released to live in the Consolata Home in New Iberia "until he dies."

Board member Bonnie Jackson pointed out that Guidry seemed unable or unwilling to characterize himself as a sex offender.

In answering Jackson's questions, Guidry seemed to imply that he was not a sex offender, like the other offenders in the counseling group he attended.

"I didn't do all that kind of thing. This is the first time this kind of thing happened," he responded.

Jackson said she didn't feel Guidry owned up to his crime, and denied his request for parole.

Letitia Peyton, the victim's mother, asked the board to keep the priest in prison to give her son time to heal, KATC says.

"He planned this crime. He committed it of his own free will. We know there are many like him who belong in a correctional facility, but Fr. Mike's crimes have been exposed and brought to light. His time in prison gives my son the hope of justice that he deserves and allows time for my son to heal," she said. "There is still no remorse. He can't even describe what remorse should be like, feel like, sound like."

Two years after Guidry pleaded guilty, the Diocese of Lafayette formally apologized to the Peyton family.

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