Diocese of Lake Charles responds to lawsuit

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The Diocese of Lake Charles released a

short statement Friday following news of a lawsuit brought against it by

a former parishioner.

The parishioner, named in the lawsuit only as “John Doe I,” claims to have been sexually abused while he was a young boy by

former priest Mark Broussard during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The lawsuit, which seeks $18 million in

damages, lists as defendants the Diocese of Lake Charles, as well as

its bishops;

the Archdiocese of New Orleans, as well as its bishops; the

Society of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lake Charles;

and Broussard.

“The Diocese of Lake Charles has been

notified of a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of New Orleans,

along with the Vatican,

the Diocese of Lake Charles, and a former cleric who resigned from

the Diocese approximately 20 years ago,” the statement

read. “The Diocese of Lake Charles offers its prayers for healing

and reconciliation to all parties involved.”

The lawsuit alleges that the church knew “prior to 1986” of complaints about Broussard.

Broussard is currently jailed on $3.4 million bond. He was indicted on 10 counts of child sexual abuse, combined from 224

original charges.

Both the lawyer representing the plaintiff and a director with the group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests were

in Lake Charles advocating for further action to be taken by officials.

Felicia Peavey, an attorney representing the alleged victim, said she would like to see local church officials investigated.

“I think there’s probably enough

information in Broussard’s file that may lead to a criminal

investigation of church officials,”

she said. “I would encourage prosecutors to look into them. From

where I’m sitting, it just seems as though there’s certainly,

if not child endangerment, they should be able to eke out a case

on obstruction of justice.”

Barbara Dorris, victims outreach

director of SNAP, said she wants Lake Charles Bishop Glen Provost “to

actively do outreach,

to look for victims, to look for witnesses, to look for

whistleblowers and tell them, ‘You have a moral, a civil obligation

to go the police.’ ”

Provost was not bishop at the time of Broussard’s alleged crimes.