Ex-priest accused of molesting boys bonds out of jail

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

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.