LAFAYETTE, La. — The Diocese of Lafayette says the local attorney who is accused of rape in an investigation related to the Boy Scouts is believed to have used a Lafayette church to hold meetings from 2003 to 2016.
Barry Rozas was booked with one count of first-degree rape on Tuesday and released on a $25,000 bond, records show. The victim has alleged that he was raped by Rozas at a location in the 400 block of Cajundome Boulevard.
This is the block where the Cajundome is located, as well as much of the UL Athletics complex. The records are not specific as to location; they just list the 400 block of that street.
The complaint was one of 28 turned over to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office in November by the Evangeline Council after the council received them from a commission working on the Boy Scouts of America bankruptcy case.
The Diocese says that Rozas was not an employee and his Boy Scout group was not a church or school group. They say they believe that Rozas held meetings at St. Pius X from 2003 to 2016.
The Diocese explains that it is common that community-based organizations use church facilities. They have not been contacted by authorities in relation to Rozas' case but will cooperate with any investigation if requested.
The full statement from the diocese is below:
The Diocese of Lafayette learned on February 3, 2021 that a former Scouting leader with the Boy Scouts of America was arrested on February 2, 2021 by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding an allegation relating to an alleged occurrence in 2004 near the Cajundome involving a minor at that time (now an adult). The individual who was arrested identified himself as Barry Rozas, who was not an employee of the Diocese, and who stated that the allegations are false. It is our understanding that the individual making the allegation remains anonymous.
As is commonly known, the Catholic Church allows many community-based organizations and common interest groups to use Church facilities. The Boy Scouts of America is such a community organization. It is neither a Church group nor a School group. It is believed that Mr. Rozas was a scout leader in the Evangeline Area Council. We believe that he served as a scout leader who held meetings at St. Pius X from 2003 to 2016.
The Diocese of Lafayette does not have any other information at this time. Although not contacted by the parties or by law enforcement, the Diocese of Lafayette will cooperate with any investigation to be conducted. The Diocese of Lafayette respects the rights of both individuals and prays that justice will prevail. As per our policy: If anyone knows or has reason to believe that a minor is being abused, then immediately contact law enforcement authorities.
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers