Local group leader urges court to extend deadline for clergy abuse claims

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:55 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The head of a local clergy sex abuse survivor group has petitioned the State Supreme Court to extend the time allowed for victims to come forward.

John Anderson, a survivor himself, has been advocating for this cause, driven by his own experiences of abuse by the late Deacon George Brignac in the 1970s.

Anderson, determined to support others, stated, “I’ve seen everything; I’m the one who came for 10 years old to try to put Louisiana’s most prolific rapist away.”

This legal challenge targets a 2021 law that gave abuse victims a three-year window to file claims, which is set to expire in June 2024. Anderson argues against the limitation, questioning its fairness.


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“That look back window for people to come forward will be ending in June 2024...is it constitutional for the survivors or is it constitutionally protected pedophiles because the whole thing that begins with,” he said.

The issue is deeply personal for Anderson, who took over 35 years to go public with his allegations. He emphasizes the difficulties faced by survivors, especially those in their 20s and 30s, who may not be ready to come forward due to various reasons, including family and institutional ties.

“What about all the people in their 20s and 30s who are still out there... a lot of times you don’t come forward because they have families or they’re tied up with the archdiocese, and they don’t wanna come forward, or they’re just not ready yet,” he explains.

Anderson’s fight is also a response to the Church’s handling of the abuse cases, including Brignac, who was named among 75 priests and clergy members credibly accused of misconduct before he died in 2020.

The Church’s actions, including settlements, have been a source of contention. The matter is now with the State Supreme Court, which will decide on this critical issue.

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