Alleged church sex abuse victim says George Brignac raped him in 1977

Updated: Jan. 11, 2021 at 5:10 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Brian Manix held on to a secret for 43 years and says it took its toll.

“These people don’t realize what they’ve done to all of us. I’ve gone to drugs, I’ve gone to alcohol, I’ve tried to commit suicide three times,” said Manix.

Manix was an altar boy at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in New Orleans when George Brignac was a deacon.

He says he was just 10-years-old in 1977, when Brignac raped him in City Park.

“Which was my favorite place to hang out and he knew that, that’s where I always fished,” said Manix. ”He tried to rape me a second time again in City Park but this time in his car and I was able to escape and run.”

Manix says he told his wife what happened to him for the first time last year. He like other alleged church sex abuse victims we have spoken with call on the church to release all documents pertaining to the sexual abuse of children.

“I hope that all documents will be released and those that have committed crimes will be dealt with,” said Manix.

It’s something Kathryn Robb with the non-profit Child US Advocacy would also like to see. She is an attorney, a legislative advocate and also a child sex abuse survivor.

“The more they release the documents and the truth, the safer kids will be, it’s just that simple. When we cover up these types of crimes, the perpetrators continue to rape young children, sexually assault young children, this is something the light of day needs to shine upon and we cannot trust a lot of these institutions to self monitor,” said Kathryn Robb with Child USAdvocacy.

Authorities arrested Brignac in 2019 after an NOPD investigation. He was awaiting trial on a first degree rape charge when he died last year.

“I was hoping I would get to see my day in court with him,” said Manix.

Manix explains why he’s sharing his story now.

“I want to stand with my brothers and help the fight, expose them all if they did wrong, they need to pay for their sins and Brignac got away with a lot, he was a monster,” Manix said.

We reached out to the Archdiocese of New Orleans for comment. They released the following statement:

“The Archdiocese of New Orleans continues to work with victims and survivors of abuse, and has a representative that meets with victims about their individual cases and any investigations into their allegations. Legally, we cannot share confidential information in personnel files whether they are clergy or laity with third parties. We encourage victims to come forward to both the archdiocese and to law enforcement, so that their allegations can be investigated. We believe it is unfair and unjust for these allegations to be tried in public by the media without the ability to fully investigate the incident.

Regarding the request for transparency, the archdiocese has provided all factual information in its possession regarding allegations of abuse by George Brignac to law enforcement. The original allegations against Brignac were handled by law enforcement at that time in both Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. An allegation received in 2002 of abuse 20 years prior was reported by the archdiocese to law enforcement shortly thereafter. More recent information received in 2018 and 2019 of allegations of abuse occurring 35-40 years prior were likewise turned over to law enforcement and provided to a Grand Jury. Factual information regarding sexual abuse whether received informally or through our bankruptcy will be reported to law enforcement as appropriate and we will continue to support and cooperate with criminal investigations into individual allegations of sexual abuse.”

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