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Msgr. Robichaux’s accuser addresses handling of sex abuse allegations

KATC has spoken with the woman whose accusations of decades-old abuse led to the removal of a high-ranking priest in the Diocese of Lafayette. Amid the allegations, Msgr. Robie Robichaux is on administrative leave. He’s been removed from his position as Judicial Vicar.

Diocese of Lafayette
Diocese of Lafayette

“Bishop Deshotel and his Vicar General, Curtis Mallet, could not have been more transparent or responsive in their handling of the accusations,” said the accuser. KATC does not identify victims of sexual abuse. “In a very complicated set of circumstances, they have demonstrated the utmost concern for my well-being and integrity in the manner with which they have investigated the truth of what was brought to them.”

While she has praise for how her case has been handled most recently, she has questions about why something wasn’t done sooner. As Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel acknowledged in a news conference Monday afternoon, the diocese was aware of her accusations in 1994 and 2004.

Read more on that here.

“In 1994 and in 2004, both Bishop Flynn and Bishop Jarrell were presented with the same information,” she said. “My concern is with why more was not done at the time. It appears that there should have been enough information to take action both in 1994 and in 2004.”

You can read her full statement below:

Since I reported abuse by a priest in the Diocese of Lafayette on September 18 of this year, Bishop Deshotel and his Vicar General, Curtis Mallet, could not have been more transparent or responsive in their handling of the accusations. In a very complicated set of circumstances they have demonstrated the utmost concern for my wellbeing and integrity in the manner with which they have investigated the truth of what was brought to them. They have not wavered in their commitment to make sure that they followed due diligence and acknowledged any area where they did not have all of the necessary information to take action. They used the lay committee to provide even more transparency. They are doing whatever they can to restore trust where it has been diminished due to the current crisis in the church.

In reporting these allegations of abuse both in 1994 and in 2004, both Bishop Flynn and Bishop Jarrell were presented with the same information. My concern is with why more was not done at the time. It appears that there should have been enough information to take action both in 1994 and in 2004. I regret that doing this in 2018, 25 years after the first allegation, has made it all the more difficult all the way around.

Jim Hummel

Jim Hummel

Jim Hummel is an anchor/reporter for KATC-TV3.
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