New Orleans nonprofit official fired after sex crimes arrest in Jefferson Parish

Stephen Sauer of Metairie, 59, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on Dec....
Stephen Sauer of Metairie, 59, was booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on Dec. 13 with five counts of video voyeurism and one count of sexual battery.(Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office)
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 10:19 AM CST
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METAIRIE, La. (WVUE) - The executive director of a New Orleans nonprofit that recycles Mardi Gras beads to help people with intellectual disabilities was dropped by the organization after his arrest on sex crimes allegations Monday (Dec. 13) in Jefferson Parish.

Stephen Sauer of Metairie was booked with one count of sexual battery and five counts of video voyeurism, according to Jefferson Parish court records. He remained jailed without bail Wednesday while awaiting a first court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

Capt. Jason Rivarde, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, did not detail the allegations against Sauer, who for nearly five years has been the executive director of Arc of Greater New Orleans.

“The investigation is in its infancy,” Rivarde said, “and is expected to take several weeks at a minimum.”

Sauer, 59, had been removed from the Arc of Greater New Orleans website by Tuesday evening. The organization did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the termination of Sauer’s employment.

Court documents show that JPSO investigators were contacted in July with a tip from an assistant district attorney in New York specializing in cybercrimes “regarding possible criminal acts” involving Sauer in Jefferson Parish.

The initial investigation was described as “relative to third-degree rape,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by Fox 8. But when Sauer was arrested Tuesday, sexual battery was the most serious allegation he faced. The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s office ultimately will decide if and with what offenses Sauer will be charged.

Sauer described himself in a social media profile as “a visionary, agile and creative problem-solver.” The same profile also shows he spent three years in an unspecified faculty position at the University of San Francisco from 2013-2016. Sauer also served as pastor and executive director of Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church in New Orleans from 2008-12.

Sexual battery is a crime in Louisiana punishable by up to 10 years in prison upon conviction. If the alleged victim of a sexual battery is under the age of 13 and the offender is an adult, the penalty could range from 25 to 99 years. Video voyeurism is punishable by up to two years on each count upon conviction.

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