Alleged Abuse: Arrested on a charge of indecent behavior; the District Attorney’s Office would later drop the charges.
Where is he now: Unknown
Mark RIchard was 29 and pastor of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rayne when he was arrested in January 1997.
At the time, the Advocate reported that he was booked with indecent behavior with a juvenile after police found him in a parked car with a 14-year-old boy. Then-Bishop Edward O’Donnell announced the priest was suspended and was living in a private home while the Diocese conducted an investigation.
Four months later, the District Attorney’s Office announced that the charges were being dropped.
Richard’s attorney told The Advocate that the priest was giving the boy a ride home, and had pulled over to counsel him. He said he gave the boy a hug during their conversation, and that although they removed their shoes they were “otherwise fully clothed.” The lawyer denied that anything illegal or immoral had occurred in the car. A used condom had been found by police nearby, but DNA testing eliminated both the priest and the boy from any connection to it, the Advocate reported.
The Bishop told the Advocate at the time that he had questions about Richard’s “prudence” in the situation. He also said he was requiring Richard to undergo counseling prior to his being assigned to another church.
1997: St. Joseph Church, Rayne