NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A man who said he was repeatedly raped by a defrocked deacon decades ago has settled his lawsuit with the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Morris Daniels said George Brignac abused him at Holy Rosary School in the 1980s. Daniels shared his story back in December because he said he wanted to make sure no other child has to go through what he did as a boy.
“They’re supposed to protect you from harm and not take advantage of you,” Daniels said.
Daniels, who is now a North Carolina firefighter, said Brignac groomed him while he was a student. Eventually, Daniels said Brignac started raping him.
“He would take me to that park, fly those airplanes and take advantage of me, and as a kid I didn’t see anything wrong with this. He told me he loved me. He told me I was special. He told me this was our secret,” Daniels said.
Daniels said the church knew about the abuse but failed to protect him. Now his attorney, Roger Stetter, says a settlement has been reached between his client and the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Stetter would not say how much that settlement was for, only that it was a substantial amount.
“I think it reflects the conference that was held, unprecedented, by Pope Francis in Rome last month involving the church leaders from all over the world, and I think he held that conference to impress upon the church leaders the enormity of the clerical sex abuse crisis that has shaken the faithful. I think our archdiocese is doing an excellent job of dealing with these types of issues,” Stetter said.
More than a dozen alleged victims have come forward saying they were sexually abused by Brignac. FOX 8 usually does not identify victims of sexual abuse, but last year, Daniels told us he didn’t want to hide in the shadows.
“I’ve pulled my own children out of a wrecked vehicle with the jaws of life, and having your children crying ‘Daddy get me out of here,’ you’d think that’s the roughest thing in the world. It’s not. Sitting right here, this is the roughest. Dealing with what this man did to me and my friends, this is the roughest. And I don’t want it to happen to anyone else,” Daniels said.
Daniels said as part of his settlement that was reached March 1, he was supposed to have an hour-long sit down with the archbishop to talk about ways to prevent this from happening to any other children. It’s something, Daniels said he demanded be non-negotiable. But, he said no one has contacted him about that meeting.
We reached out to the Archdiocese of New Orleans about that. The Archdiocese said they just received the final settlement documentation, and the archbishop is trying to clear his schedule to give Mr. Daniels some options for scheduling a meeting at a time that is convenient for both.