Judge denies motion to reduce bond for former priest

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

Although 14th Judicial District Court Judge David Ritchie on Wednesday denied a motion to reduce former priest Mark Broussard’s

bond, the amount was reduced when Ritchie reset bond amounts to reflect the number of charges.

Broussard’s total bond is now $1.5 million, down from $3.42 million.

Broussard, accused of molesting boys between 1986 and 1991 while a priest in Calcasieu Parish, was originally charged with

224 counts of child sexual abuse and was accused of molesting three boys.

Prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth said in court Wednesday that 30 of the charges, all involving the third victim, are too old

to prosecute.

The five counts that remain “encompass” all the accusations by the two remaining men.

Ritchie set the new bond amounts at $500,000 on both counts 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.

Ritchie doubled the individual amounts on the two aggravated rape charges.

Defense attorney Tom Lorenzi’s original request was for Ritchie to reduce the amount to $200,000 so that Broussard’s family

could make a cash bond. Ritchie said at the time of the initial request that he would not drop it that low.

Ritchie gave the same two reasons for denying the motion to reduce bond and for doubling the bond on the two aggravated rape

charges — Broussard admitted to molesting other children, although not the ones he is currently accused of molesting, in a

polygraph test and in a videotaped interview; and the severity of the penalties Broussard is facing if convicted.

Ritchie also granted a motion to quash the 30 charges related to the third victim. The prosecution and the defense agreed

that all charges pertaining to him have prescribed. Doing away with those charges lowered the initial bond by $400,000.