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Appeals court upholds bond for ex-priest accused of molestation

Last Modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:29 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld former priest Mark Broussard’s bond in a writ released Monday.

It also said the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office does not have to produce the medical or mental health records of the alleged victims.

Broussard, 57, is accused of molesting boys between 1986 and 1991 while a priest in Calcasieu Parish.

He faces two counts of aggravated rape, one count of oral sexual battery, one count of aggravated oral sexual battery and one count of molestation of a juvenile.

He was originally charged with 224 counts of child sexual abuse, but prosecutors said some of the charges were too old to prosecute, and the others were encompassed into the five counts he now faces.

The 3rd Circuit’s rulings upheld decisions made by 14th Judicial District Court Judge David Ritchie.

“We felt very comfortable that the court would rule in our favor, and we are very happy with the ruling,” prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth said in a statement.

Ritchie lowered Broussard’s bond from $3.42 million to $1.5 million to reflect the charges he now faces, but did not lower it to the $200,000 Broussard’s attorneys requested.

“It’s a real disappointment, especially the court’s decision regarding bond,” Tom Lorenzi, Broussard’s defense attorney, said.

Lorenzi said there was justification for asking the higher court to address both issues, but “we have to accept the decision and move on.”

In asking the court to reduce bond to $200,000, Lorenzi said it was an amount that Broussard’s family could meet.

He said Thursday that he asked for the alleged victim’s records because they speak to the credibility of the witnesses.

“When you have records in the past that bear on a person’s mental state, then we think they’re absolutely vital,” he said. “Our efforts are going to continue. The court simply ruled here that the state was not compelled to produce them because the state had chosen not to have those records in their possession.”

Family Dollar robbery suspects indicted

Three men suspected of trying to rob the Family Dollar on Third Avenue in May were indicted Thursday in 14th Judicial District Court.

Blake D. Simien, 19, 8559 Gulf Highway, Apt. 210; Denzel Martin Singleton, 19, 1610 Second St.; and Alexander Amos Schlessinger, 19, 3514 E. Roosevelt St., were indicted on charges of attempted armed robbery and attempted armed robbery with a firearm.

Authorities said the men approached the store as the door was being locked on May 6. They were unable to enter because the door was locked and fled on foot, authorities said.

Singleton and Schlessinger were arrested first, and Simien was arrested later at the Civic Center.

The grand jury also returned an indictment in another armed robbery case.

Darius Marquel Armstead, 31, 1103 Truth St., DeQuincy, was indicted on charges of armed robbery and armed robbery with a firearm in relation to a May 8 incident.

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