NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The Louisiana Supreme Court is already sitting on a motion filed by the attorneys for the archdiocese. The motion cites the NOLA no-call lawsuit, appealing to the state supreme court to get part of a church sex abuse case thrown out.
Attorneys have since filed another document to the state supreme court, this time in regards to a J.W. Doe.
Part of the issue discussed in the supreme court filing is the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a document that outlines how church leaders should address allegations of sexual abuse in the church.
Attorneys for the archdiocese argue it should not be allowed in court in part because of the NOLA no-call decision, saying the church should be afforded those same public policy and constitutional protections.
A law professor specializing in supreme court law does not believe the NOLA no-call lawsuit was intended to be used as such.
“There’s certainly nothing improper or unethical about the arguments brought in the archdiocese case the arguments are clever, but at the end of the day it’s clear to me the Louisiana Supreme Court intended to limit the NOLA no call case to its facts, and that it was not intended to have precedential value outside of that narrow context of a claim brought by a fan against a professional sports league,” said Loyola University law professor Dane Ciolino.
As a lifelong Saints fan, the Fleur-de-Lis flies proudly outside of Kevin Bourgeois' home. But as a church sex abuse victim himself, he says for the archdiocese to use the saints as an argument in court is appalling.
“They’re really creative to use this legal tactic, but they're not creative when it comes to helping people move forward with their lives,” said Bourgeouis.
Bourgeois settled with the church after coming forward with his story, saying he was abused by now deceased priest Carl Davidson. He says he only made the decision to come forward with his story after seeing Davidson on the list of credibly accused.
He fears other victims may see the church comparing sexual abuse to a football play and feel hopeless.
“My hope is that survivors out there that have not had the courage to get help and move forward, that they would see I’m going up against this crazy person that's trying to use a legal argument that makes no sense,” said Bourgeois.
When Bourgeois himself says he's angry with the church's court filings, he understands how courage can be hard to come by.
“It is hurtful, its hurtful to me as a lifelong New Orleanian and a catholic,” said Bourgeois.
The Archdiocese issued a statement tonight saying: “There has been a great deal of misunderstanding. The Archdiocese of New Orleans recognizes there is no comparison of facts between the No Call case decided by the Supreme Court and the seriousness of facts alleged in this case. Sex abuse is far more serious. We simply believe that the legal principles set forth by the Supreme Court have a bearing on the determination on these proceedings.”
On the other side of the case, the attorneys for both John and J.W. Doe issued this statement: “It’s not enough that serial child rapists like Hecker and Brignac have avoided jail for all these decades with the assistance of the Archdiocese. But now, the Archdiocese is rubbing salt in the wounds of Brignac’s and Hecker’s many victims by repeatedly comparing their life-long nightmares to a referee’s call in a football game."