Former priest’s attorney wants bond reduced in sex crimes case

Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A former priest, sitting in jail on child sex abuse charges, wants his bond reduced. An attorney for Lawrence Hecker filed the paperwork Wednesday, saying Hecker isn’t a flight risk and should be at home.

Just one day after another accuser of Lawrence Hecker came forward, an attorney for the 92-year-old former priest filed paperwork to lower his bond. Bobby Hjortsberg said Hecker never had a proper bond hearing.

“There’s a requirement when the bond is set that there are certain factors that the court must set when determining the bond, particularly whether the individual is a danger to the community and whether the individual is a flight risk and when this bond was set, none of those factors were explored,” Hjortsberg said.

In a motion filed Wednesday afternoon, Hjortsberg wants a judge to evaluate Hecker’s current $850,000 bond.


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“He set a bond that without question that was destined to keep him in jail. I mean I’ve never seen anyone in that building make an $850,000 bond. I’ve been doing this almost 17 years, it seemed intentional,” Hjortsberg said.

Hecker, who is wheelchair-bound, sits in the Orleans Parish Justice Center. He faces charges of aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated crimes against nature and theft. Allegations against him date back 50 years. Hecker was removed from ministry by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

On Tuesday, Aaron Hebert told FOX 8 he was assaulted by Hecker when he was a 13-year-old student at St. Joseph’s in Gretna. In a lawsuit, he alleges Hecker took him and other boys and told them he wanted to quote “show them what it was like to get a hernia exam.”

“He proceeded to tell us to drop our pants, drop our underwear and he decided to get on his knees and grope our genitals,” Hebert stated.

He continues, “The guilt that I’ve been carrying from that moment on is that I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t tell a soul. I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t tell the teacher. And not having told anybody, I just felt what happened and knowing what happened, what Hecker did, I probably could have saved a bunch of children if I only would’ve said something and I didn’t.”

Hecker has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His attorney says he’s innocent until proven guilty.

Hjortsberg hopes to go before a judge next week for a bond reduction hearing.

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