Calcasieu

Mar 26, 2012 10:03 PM by Maddie Garrett

DA: Diocese Investigated Broussard for Child Abuse in Early 1990's

New details on the former priest arrested in Duson last week, charged with allegedly molesting and raping a young boy nearly 25 years ago in Lake Charles. Investigators said they believe there are multiple victims and that the Diocese of Lake Charles knew about them. But law enforcement said the Diocese didn't break any laws in its handling of the allegations.

It took almost three decades for one of the victims, allegedly abused by former priest Mark Broussard, to come forward. But Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRossier said this victim wasn't the first to accuse Broussard of sexual abuse.

"I think there were prior victims who came forward and those were dealt with through the diocese," said DeRossier.

He said those victims are documented in Broussard's personnel files, found at the Diocese of Lake Charles.

"Suffice it to say there were multiple victims over the years, more than one or two," explained DeRossier.

Investigators said those church personnel files indicate that the Diocese of Lake Charles had questioned Broussard about allegations of child abuse in the early 90's. DeRossier said within 30 days of the Diocese's own investigation, Broussard resigned from the priesthood in 1994.

With his resignation the case was closed.

"And once he was gone, then it's up to the victims to proceed by going to law enforcement and we encourage that. Apparently they did no do that back at that time," said DeRossier.

It wasn't until 2003 that the clergy was even required by law to report abuse to police. So in this case, DeRossier said the Diocese didn't break any laws.

But Chief Deputy Gary "Stitch" Guillory with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office said their investigation into Broussard is far from over.

"There's no telling where this case will go. But I can tell you this, if there are other victims that come forward or we can contact those other victims, we are going to pursue and do what we need to do to bring justice for them," said Guillory.

Broussard remains in the Calcasieu Parish Jail on $1.2 million bond. He's charged with two counts of Aggravated Rape and 52 counts of Sexual Battery.

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