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UPDATE: St. Martin Sheriff's Office investigating allegation against deacon

Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 23, 2021

The St. Martin Sheriff's Office has a detective assigned to investigate allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

Yesterday, the Diocese confirmed that Deacon Shawn Jude Gautreaux of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge had been placed on leave following allegations of abuse that dated back before he became a deacon.

After issuing public records requests to St. Martin Parish law enforcement, KATC learned that it was the St. Martin Sheriff's Office that is investigating the case.

SNAP, the Survivor's Network, issued a statement on the investigation.

"It is what the Diocese of Lafayette is not sharing that concerns us. Our view is that vital information is disclosed about how long Deacon Gautreaux has served at St. Bernard Parish? Important information relating to his ordination date, programs, or committees he participated in is vital to informing the parish community and the community as a whole," a release from SNAP states. "We hope the Diocese of Lafayette keeps to its word by committing to cooperation with investigative authorities. We also encourage anyone who may have information or who may have been abused themselves to make a report to law enforcement."

A spokesman for the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office said anyone who has information about this allegation or is a victim should call the office at (337) 394-3071.

Here's the statement the Diocese sent yesterday:
The Diocese of Lafayette has received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Deacon Shawn Jude Gautreaux. Following an initial inquiry, the Diocese has placed Deacon Gautreaux on administrative leave pending a further determination in this matter. The allegation received relates to a period of time many years before he was ordained a deacon. Further, the Diocese has reported the allegation to law enforcement authorities in St. Martin Parish. The Diocese is unaware of any other allegations involving Deacon Gautreaux at this time. The Diocese is continuing to cooperate fully with law enforcement, and we urge anyone with any information on any cases of possible abuse to please come forward to local law enforcement authorities and to the Diocese.

*If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault and you need help, there is help available. You can find help here. If you believe that a crime has been committed, please call your local law enforcement, or dial 911.

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