NOPD launches criminal investigation after church sex abuse allegations

NOPD launches criminal investigation after church sex abuse allegations

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A former Catholic deacon accused of molesting young boys is now the subject of a criminal sexual abuse investigation. The attorney who represented one of the alleged victims in a large settlement with the Archdiocese of New Orleans hopes this will create lasting change.

A man who suppressed memories for years claims former Deacon George Brignac raped and sexually abused him at Holy Rosary church.

"Fondled me at the school, at his desk, in his car and in his home," the man said.

FOX 8 is not naming the man to protect his identity. His attorney, Roger Stetter, landed a half a $500,000 settlement from the Archdiocese three weeks ago. But this week, the attorney and his client sat down with NOPD officers to tell his story again. Stetter says his client's motivation isn't money, but to prevent any child from feeling the way he did years ago.

"Everything we can do to deter this type of behavior is appropriate A civil action is one thing that provides recompense to the victim. A criminal action really vindicates everyone," said Stetter.

Brignac was acquitted on charges he abused three young boys at St. Mathew's in River Ridge back in 1978. The Archdiocese then moved him to Holy Rosary School in New Orleans.

The NOPD has not officially brought charges against Brignac. But even though alleged victims say Brignac abused them decades ago, Stetter says there is no statute of limitations on aggravated rape.

FOX 8 asked Brignac about the accusations in June.

Reporter: "Do you make any apologies to the boys who claimed you abused them sir?"

Stetter can't say if anyone else in the church hierarchy could be named in the criminal investigation, but he believes this time it will be different.

"I'm really glad the NOPD is serious about this. They struck out the first three times; this time I think they might be successful, and Mr. Brignac deserves to be behind bars.

FOX 8 was not able to get in touch with the NOPD about the investigation.

The Archdiocese sent us this response to the investigation:

A Statement from Archbishop Gregory Aymond

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