SLIDELL, La. (WVUE) - The former pastor of a Slidell-area church was booked Thursday (Oct. 22) night into a Georgia jail as a fugitive out of St. Tammany Parish, after detectives with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office obtained warrants for his arrest on molestation charges.
An investigation into claims Patrick Wattigny had sexually abused a minor in 2013 while serving as pastor of St. Luke’s Church in Slidell ended with warrants issued for Molestation of a Juvenile.
All four counts are in connection with the same victim.
Wattigny started grooming the victim, who was 15 at the time, through general conversation, which led to telephone and text message conversations and eventually in-person visits, at which time the acts of molestation occurred on at least four different occasions. investigators said.
Some of those instances occurred in the church rectory.
Wattigny was arrested at a residence in Georgia Thursday night, and booked into the Troup County Jail, where he is awaiting extradition to St. Tammany Parish.
“It is deeply disturbing when an individual in a position of authority uses that position to prey on the most defenseless of our population – our children,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.
Date of Birth: September 9, 1967
Ordination: June 4, 1994
Time of Abuse: 2013
Abuse Reported: October 1, 2020
Removed from Ministry: October 1, 2020
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Kenner
- St. Benilde, Metaire
- St. Luke the Evangelist, Slidell
- St. Peter, Covington
- The Visitation of Our Lady, Marrero
- Archbishop Rummel High School, Metairie
- Pope John Paul II, Slidell
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