(American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:16 PM
A former Calcasieu priest accused of molesting young parishioners bonded out of jail Monday.
Mark Anthony Broussard, 57, walked out of the Calcasieu Correctional Center at 2:15 p.m. on a $1.5 million cash bond, according to information from the jail.
Broussard is accused of molesting boys while a priest in Calcasieu Parish between 1986 and 1991. Broussard served at Our Lady Queen of Heaven and St. Henry Catholic Church. He also served at St. Eugene in Cameron Parish.
He is charged with five counts of sexual abuse — two counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated oral sexual battery, one count of oral sexual battery and one count of molestation of a juvenile.
Broussard had been held at the Calcasieu jail since his March 2012 arrest.
Defense attorney Tom Lorenzi asked Judge David Ritchie in May to reduce Broussard’s bond from $3.42 million to $200,000, an amount Broussard’s family could make.
Ritchie declined to do so — increasing the amounts on some counts — but did lower the total bond amount to $1.5 million to reflect Broussard’s charges.
Lorenzi said Broussard’s family came up with the money after attending a family wedding.
“People who came together for the wedding were struck with the realization that Mark was not present,” Lorenzi said.
He called the situation “almost serendipitous” and said some had cashed out their retirement accounts to help reach the bond amount.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Lorenzi said. “People are simply bound and determined that Mark is going to be reunited with his parents; that’s who he’s living with. He’s able to spend time with his family right now.
“Because of happenstance, persons were able to take every penny they had and make this happen.”
Broussard was originally charged with 224 counts of child sexual abuse, but 30 of the charges involving one of the boys were too old to prosecute. The five remaining counts “encompass” the rest of the charges involving the other two boys, prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth said in May.
Ritchie doubled Broussard’s bond on the two aggravated rape charges. He set Broussard’s bond at $500,000 on each count of aggravated rape, $200,000 on one charge of aggravated oral sexual battery, $150,000 on one count of oral sexual battery and $150,000 on one count of molestation of a juvenile.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the $1.5 million bond.
Lorenzi said the bond amount is still excessive and that Broussard is not a flight risk.
Ritchie said in May that he refused a bond reduction in part because in Broussard’s initial interview with police, the former priest admitted molesting young boys — although he denied sexually abusing his current accusers. The video was shown in court during a pretrial hearing.
Posted By: cidia roijiuo On: 10/31/2013
Title: no winners Right!
this is coming from a 70yr.old victim ,i was raped as a child i did not tell for 46 of those years ,i am 70yr. now i live every day with shame and guilt,i received no treatment .this is about the victims and their families the court need to avail treatment for them. i pray they have a good life.
Mark A. Broussard, and his family knew he was a pedophile a sexual molester,this family should have raised money for mark not to become a priest instead they hide him in a seminary and though this would fix him,god made mark good you did not do your job people.
Posted By: Tammy Fontenot On: 10/31/2013
Title: Ex priest charged with molesting boys...
Yes, the children that were hurt need to be considered; however, the law states that The hearing must be held within a reasonable time. This man has been sitting in prison since his arrest March 2012. If the DA can not make a case in 18 months then there isn't enough proof, he is innocent, or the DA needs to be fired for incompetence! As a citizen of the USA you are allowed a fast and speedy trial.. If the Prosecutors can not do this, then let the person who is innocent until proven guilty go free.
Posted By: Robin Khoury On: 10/30/2013
Attorney Lorenzi states,"He's able to spend time with his family right now." All sounds so celebratory!! Who is aware of the feelings of the rape victims and their families who have to deal with the betrayal and violations against children? Do you think they feel like celebrating? Or would they prefer justice prevail and the guilty former priest remain in jail so no other children are victimized by this man. Most pedophiles molest and or rape those closest to them like family members and neighbors and children of their friends. Mr.Lorenzi what if those people would have taken every penny they had and put it towards the victims trauma treatment. What about moral obligations? No winners here!!