Father Joseph Pellettieri
Diocese of Lafayette (Redemptorists)
Assigned as follows:
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (Crowley, LA)
- Notre Dame Catholic High School (Crowley, LA)
- Ave Maria Retreat House (Crown Point, LA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Joseph Pellettieri:
Father Joseph Pellettieri (also spelled Pelletieri) was ordained a Redemptorist priest in 1965, who came to New Orleans in June 2001. He served in Wisconsin, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, as well as in the Diocese of Lafayette. According to media reports, in April 2002, he was suspended from serving at Ave Maria Retreat House by the Order and by the Archdiocese of New Orleans after an allegation was reported that he sexually abused a minor boy in 1967. The alleged abuse occurred when Father Pellettieri was a teacher and the principal at Notre Dame High School in Crowley.
In March 2003, the alleged victim, who was the son of a janitor at Notre Dame High, named Father Pellettieri in a lawsuit alleging that he had been molested by the priest when he was 11 to 14 years old in 1967. He alleged that Father Pellettieri used hypnosis and post-hypnotic suggestion to engage in inappropriate sexual behavior with him. The man said he started remembering his abuse as he watched TV reports in the early 2000s about priest scandals in Boston and other places. The lawsuit was later dismissed on grounds of statute of limitations. Despite the dismissal, the judge had some thoughts to share regarding the case.
“I’m going to note that … from all the information available, (the) defendants know something transpired between Father Pelletieri and (the victim) that was not right … But they (Catholic Church officials) have vigorously and at some times viciously fought this litigation throughout, and I think the very least that the defendants can do is to bear their own costs,” the judge wrote.
In December 2008, the Appeals Court upheld the dismissal.
Father Pellettieri died in 2018.
In November 2018, his name appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.
In January 2019, his name also appeared on the diocese of Baton Rouge’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sex abuse.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Lafayette may now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana and nationwide. We can help.