Tag: Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Sean Leo Rooney – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Sean Leo Rooney

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Sean Leo Rooney Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1966

Laicized: 2008

Settlement: 2014

Assignment History

  • 1959-1968: St. Dominic Savio High School (Boston, MA)
  • 1968-1971: Salesian Day High School for Boys; Salesian Resident Junior Seminary; Camp Salesian for Boys; Salesian Retreat House for Boys; Salesian Boys Club (Cedar Lake, IN)
  • 1971-1975: Don Bosco Technical High School (Paterson, NJ)
  • 1979-1981: Salesian Junior Seminary (Goshen, NY)
  • 1981-1983: Don Bosco High School for Boys (Ramsey, NJ)
  • 1983-2003: St. John Bosco Church (Birmingham, AL)
  • 1983-2003: Holy Rosary (Birmingham, AL)
  • 2003-2008: Salesian Provincial House (New Rochelle, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Sean Leo Rooney

In March 2020, the Salesians publicly listed Fr. Sean Leo Rooney on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse. While the list does not mention any allegations specifically, there are at least two known allegations of sexual abuse lodged against Fr. Sean Leo Rooney—one made in 2013 and another in 2020.

2013 Lawsuit and Allegation

In December 2013, a former student of Fr. Sean Leo Rooney filed a lawsuit alleging the priest repeatedly abused him when he was a student at Salesian Junior Seminary. According to the complaint, the victim was 14 years old when Fr. Rooney “repeatedly engaged in explicit sexual behavior” with him.

Ultimately, the victim received a settlement in 2014. The size of the settlement, however, is unknown.

2020 Lawsuit and AllegationFr. Sean Leo Rooney Horowitz Law

In February 2020, another former student (the Plaintiff) of Fr. Sean Leo Rooney alleged the priest abused him more than 100 times in the 1970s—which started when the Plaintiff was 13 years old.

In his complaint against the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., the Plaintiff says Fr. Rooney abused him in various locations on the campus of Don Bosco Technical High School. The Plaintiff also states that Fr. Rooney groomed him and gave him alcohol.

There are currently no updates on the progress of the lawsuit.

Fr. Sean Leo Rooney’s Career and Assignment History

Although Fr. Sean Leo Rooney professed his vows as a Salesian brother in 1958, he was not ordained until 1966. During that time, sources indicate Fr. Rooney was working at St. Dominic Savio High School, which had around 300 all-male students.

In the mid-to-late 1970s, Fr. Rooney’s assignment history reveals that Fr. Rooney worked at high schools with more than 400 all-male students, including Don Bosco Technical High School and Archbishop Shaw—which had nearly 1,000 all-male students.

In 2002, while working in a low-income community in Birmingham, Alabama, sources say Fr. Rooney served as administrator of a ministry outreach program that targeted youth in the local housing projects.

According to sources, Fr. Sean Leo Rooney served for nearly 40 years before he was removed in 2008. At the time of his removal, Fr. Rooney was assigned to the Salesian Provincial House in New York.

Fr. Rooney is believed to be residing in Prescott, Arizona.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fr. Jody Blanchard – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Jody Blanchard

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Jody Blanchard Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1983

Left: 1994 

Assignment History: 

  • 1984: Jesuit Community (Berkley, CA)
  • 1985-1987: St. Charles Borromeo Church (Grand Coteau, LA)
  • 1989-1991: Tulane Catholic Center (New Orleans, LA)
  • Post-1991(?): Immaculate Conception Parish (Baton Rouge, LA)
  • Post-1991(?): Strake Jesuit Preparatory (Houston, TX)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Jody Blanchard

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province publicly named Fr. Jody Blanchard on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. According to the list, Fr. Blanchard allegedly abused a minor in the 1980s.

While the list does not reveal details about the scope and nature of the abuse, the Jesuits have deemed the allegations credible.

A credible allegation is “one which the provincial believes, with moral certitude, after careful investigation and review by professionals that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult occurred . . .  with the possibility that it did not occur being highly unlikely,” according to the Jesuits’ website

Fr. Jody Blanchard’s Career and Assignment HistoryFr. Jody Blanchard Horowitz Law

Ordained in 1983, Fr. Jody Blanchard served approximately 11 years before leaving the Society of Jesus. Fr. Blanchard’s whereabouts after his departure in 1994 are largely unknown.

However, according to Fr. Blanchard’s LinkedIn page, he was a counselor to the elderly and a spiritual/bereavement coordinator. Additionally, sources say he still resides in Louisiana. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 oadam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. Austin Park – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Austin Park

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Austin Park Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1955

Death: 2013

Assignment History:

  • 1957: Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Shrine (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1967-1968: Gesù Parish (Miami, FL)
  • 1969-1970:  St. Charles College (Grand Coteau, LA)
  • 1971-1976: Sacred Heart Church (Tampa, FL)
  • 1980-1983: St. Joseph Church (Houston, TX)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Austin Park

Fr. Austin Park Horowitz Law

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province publicly named Fr. Austin Park on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The Jesuits say they have received multiple allegations that Fr. Park abused a minor in the 1960s. When allegations were made, Fr. Park had already left the ministry due to dementia.

While the Jesuits have not shared additional details about the scope and nature of the abuse, they have deemed the allegations credible.

A credible allegation exists if the “provincial believes, with moral certitude, after careful investigation and review by professionals that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult occurred . . .  with the possibility that it did not occur being highly unlikely,” according to the Jesuits’ website.

Filling in the Gaps in Fr. Austin Park’s Assignment History

Ordained in 1955, Fr. Austin Park spent his career teaching and working with Spanish-speaking communities in Spain, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. News reports also indicate he tutored provided private Spanish tutoring.

In addition to the churches mentioned above, Fr. Park also worked at Jesuit High School in Shreveport, Louisiana; Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama; Colegio San Ignacio in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; Christ the King Church in Grand Coteau, Louisiana; and Oakdale Facility in Oakdale, Louisiana.

It’s unclear when Fr. Park left the ministry, but since 2019, he has appeared on lists of clergy credibly accused of abusing minors—including lists published by the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Diocese of Charleston, and the Diocese of Lake Charles.

Since 1983, Fr. Austin Park’s whereabouts are largely unknown. He died in 2013.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

 

Fr. Alfonso Madrid – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Father Alfonso Madrid

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Alfonso Madrid Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1950

Death: 1982

Settlement with Victim: 2013

Assignment History:

  • 1954-1959: St. Ignatius of Loyola (El Paso, TX)
  • 1959-1960: Escuela Pereyra (Torreon, Mexico)
  • 1960-1961: Jesuit High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1961-1966: San Felipe de Neri (Albuquerque, NM)
  • 1961-1966: Mission in Los Duranes, Albuquerque, NM
  • 1966-1970: Our Lady of Guadalupe (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1970-1982: Sacred Heart (El Paso, TX)

Summary of Sexual Assault Abuse against Father Alfonso Madrid

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province publicly named Fr. Alfonso Madrid on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. While the Jesuits have not stated any additional details about the scope and nature of the abuse, they have deemed the allegations credible.

A credible allegation exists if the “provincial believes, with moral certitude, after careful investigation and review by professionals that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult occurred . . .  with the possibility that it did not occur being highly unlikely,” according to the Jesuits’ website.

The Jesuits list does not refer to any specific allegation, but it’s known through lawsuits and reports that Fr. Madrid has allegedly abused numerous minors throughout his service.

1968 Allegation: Our Lady of Guadalupe in San Antonio, Texas

Fr. Alfonso Madrid Horowitz Law

In 1968, it was reported that Fr. Madrid had inappropriate contact with a nine-year-old boy while at Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is unclear if any action was taken in response to the allegation, but it has become apparent that a pattern of misconduct existed.

In 2014, the Archdiocese of San Antonio revealed that five additional survivors alleged Fr. Madrid abused them in the late 1960s. The archdiocese has since deemed the allegations credible.

According to reports, Our Lady of Guadalupe had a school of around 270 students during the late 1960s.

2011 Lawsuit: Sacred Heart in El Paso, Texas

In 2011, a man (the Plaintiff) filed a lawsuit against the El Paso Diocese, alleging Fr. Alfonso Madrid molested him in the 1970s. Fr. Madrid “sexually abused [the Plaintiff] . . . for a period of approximately five years, beginning when [the Plaintiff] was 8 years old,” the complaint reads.

Furthermore, the Plaintiff argued that Fr. Madrid had mental health challenges the church knew about when they continued to place him in parishes throughout Texas and Louisiana. The mental health challenges were documented by church officials in records given to the Plaintiff, a news report says.

Ultimately, the lawsuit was settled on July 11, 2013. Details about the settlement amount are not publicly available.

2013 Lawsuit: Sacred Heart Church in El Paso, Texas

Shortly after the 2011 lawsuit was settled, another victim filed suit. According to the victim’s lawyer, “this [victim] was eight years old when he was sexually abused by [Fr.] Madrid at Sacred Heart Church in the El Paso Diocese.”

Until 1973, Sacred Heart had a school that enrolled more than 70 boys and 68 girls.

Fr. Alfonso Madrid’s Career

Ordained in 1950, Fr. Alfonso Madrid served for approximately 32 years. Throughout his career, Fr. Madrid worked at schools and churches. One of his first documented assignments was St. Ignatius of Loyola, which had nearly 700 students enrolled.

According to sources Fr. Madrid also served at Jesuit High School in the early 1960s, where nearly 1,000 all-male students were enrolled. Fr. Madrid’s last assignment was at Sacred Heart in El Paso; it had a school until 1973.

Fr. Alfonso Madrid died of natural causes in 1982.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

 

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer Horowitz Law

Ordination: 1966

Removed: 2010

Death: 2018

Assignment History 

  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church (Charleston Heights, SC)
  • Cardinal Newman High School (Columbia, SC)
  • Mercy Cross Highschool (Biloxi, MS)
  • Nouvel Central Highschool (Saginaw, MI)
  • Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI)
  • Jesuit College Preparatory School (Dallas, TX)
  • Jesuit High School (Shreveport, LA)
  • Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
  • Jesuit High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • Central Catholic High (San Antonio, TX)
  • Jesuit High School (Tampa, FL)
  • Antonian High School (San Antonio, TX)
  • St. Cecilia (San Antonio, TX)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Landwermeyer

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province publicly named Fr. Francis Landwermeyer on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. According to the list, Fr. Landwermeyer allegedly abused minors in the 1960s and 1970s.

While the Jesuits have not stated any additional details about the scope and nature of the abuse, they have deemed the allegations credible. A credible allegation exists if the “provincial believes, with moral certitude, after careful investigation and review by professionals that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult occurred . . .  with the possibility that it did not occur being highly unlikely,” according to the Jesuits’ website.

While the Jesuits have publicly stated that credible allegations exist against Fr. Landwermeyer, his personnel file won’t be available until 2068—50 years after his death. Fr. Landwermeyer’s personnel file includes his pastoral assignments and his time at educational institutions.

Accordingly, there is not a complete record of Fr. Francis Landwermeyer’s assignment history. However, Fr. Landwermeyer’s alleged involvement in abuse against others is documented in articles, complaints, and in-court testimony.

Alleged Abuse and Involvement in Suicide of a Former Student

In April 1978, a student at Marquette University fell to his death at a resident hall. Notes from the investigation reveal Fr. Landwermeyer was the student’s academic advisor, and before his death, the student and Fr. Landwermeyer had spoken to each other.

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer Horowitz Law

Suspicion surrounding the relationship Fr. Landwermeyer had with the student arose during initial inquiries into the student’s death. In a memo written by the former vice president of student affairs at Marquette, Fr. Landwermeyer quickly cleaned clothes scattered in the student’s room after the student’s death.

Moreover, in a meeting with legal counsel, Fr. Landwermeyer revealed he used physical discipline on the student, which included an “arm lever.”

As the student’s family began inquiring more into his death, sources allege that Fr. Landwermeyer attempted to prevent further investigation. According to the former state’s attorney, Fr. Landwermeyer would “try to dissuade” him from conducting a police investigation. Sources say Fr. Landwermeyer even told the student’s family an investigation would be “prolonged and unhealthy.”

Soon after, Fr. Landwermeyer moved to Tampa, Florida, to start his position at Jesuit High School.

Allegations of Sexual Abuse at Jesuit High School

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer’s use of physical abuse against students would continue after he left Marquette in the late 1970s. According to a client Adam Horowitz represented in a lawsuit against the Society of Jesus, Fr. Landwermeyer called him into his office for disciplinary reasons “regularly.”  Misconduct would then ensue, the client said.

Fr. Landwermeyer’s Confirmed Service in South Carolina 

While there is not a complete record of Fr. Francis Landwermeyer’s assignment history, the Diocese of Charleston confirmed Fr. Landwermeyer served two locations in South Carolina: St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and the Cardinal Newman High School.

According to the diocese, “there is no record of allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor made against Father Landwermeyer while he was assigned at St. Thomas the Apostle or Cardinal Newman School.” There is also no record of Fr. Landwermeyer’s whereabouts from 1985-1988.

Fr. Landwermeyer’s 2010 Removal

Ordained in 1966, Fr. Francis Landwermeyer spent approximately 44 years in ministry, serving various parishes and schools. In 2010, the Jesuits learned of a credible allegation of abuse against Fr. Landwermeyer and removed him from public ministry. According to the Jesuits, he voluntarily left ministry a year later. His subsequent whereabouts are unknown.

Fr. Francis Landwermeyer died in September 2018.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Thomas Hidding – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Father Thomas Hidding

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Thomas Hidding Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1986

Removed: 2002

Death: 2005

Assignment History:

  • 1980-1982: Jesuit High School (Tampa, FL)
  • Unknown: Jesuit College Prep. (Dallas, TX)
  • 1986-1987: The Jesuit Community (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1987-1992: Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1993-1997: University of Tampa (Tampa, FL)
  • 1993-1997: Sacred Heart (Tampa, FL)
  • 1997-1999: Immaculate Conception (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1999-2000: Jesuit Provincial Office (New Orleans, LA)
  • 2000-2002: Gesú Catholic Church (Miami, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse against Father Thomas Hidding

In 2002, the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus stripped Fr. Thomas Hidding of his “priestly faculties” after learning he allegedly abused a minor in the early 1980s. According to reports, the abuse allegedly occurred at Jesuit High when Fr. Hidding taught English there.

While the province did not release any details about the nature of the abuse or its scope, a spokesperson for the province said the allegations were credible. The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province later named Fr. Hidding on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

Student Account of Fr. Thomas Hidding’s Relationship with StudentsFr. Thomas Hidding Horowitz Law

A former student of Fr. Hidding wrote an article in 2020, reflecting on his relationship with the priest. The student says he received many gifts from Fr. Hidding, including a “belly shirt”—a cut-off t-shirt.

The former student also details how Fr. Hidding had “unsupervised access to students in an isolated building.” Fr. Hidding had formed a folk music trio with two of the former student’s friends, and they practiced in the band building—which was separate from the rest of the school—the article reads.

Fr. Thomas Hidding’s Career and Whereabouts

Fr. Thomas Hidding was ordained in 1986 and served approximately 16 years before his removal. His whereabouts after his dismissal are unknown.

Fr. Thomas Hidding died on October 12, 2005.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Thomas Hatrel – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Father Thomas Hatrel

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Thomas Hatrel Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1952

Death: 1988

Settlement with Victim: 2007

Assignment History

  • 1952-1953: St. Mary’s College (St. Mary’s, KS)
  • 1953-1954: Xavier Hall (Pass Christian, MS)
  • 1954-1957: Jesuit High School (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1957-1979: Jesuit High School (Tampa, FL)
  • 1979-1980: Monroe High School (Fairbanks, AK)
  • 1980-1983: Immaculate Conception (Fairbanks, AK)
  • 1983-1988: St. Mary’s/St. Peter’s (Sheldon Point/Nunam Iqua, AK)

Summary of Sexual Abuse against Father Thomas Hatrel

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province named Fr. Thomas Hatrel on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. According to the list, Fr. Hatrel allegedly abused a minor in the 1980s “while applied to the Oregon Province.” The Jesuits did not provide any further details about the nature or scope of the abuse.

2007 Lawsuit Against the Jesuits

In a lawsuit filed in 2007, it is maintained that Fr. Hatrel abused a minor between 1985 and 1987 while serving the St. Ignatius parish in Alaska. The Jesuits settled with the victim, but additional information about the abuse and the size of the settlement remains unknown.

Fr. Thomas Hatrel’s Career

Although not much is known about the allegations against Fr. Thomas Hatrel, it is widely documented that Fr. Hatrel was directly involved with children throughout his career.

Fr. Thomas Hatrel Horowitz Law
Fr. Thomas Hatrel with the Jesuit High Baseballers in 1965. Fr. Hatrel is pictured third row (standing), second from left.

While working at Jesuit High School in New Orleans, sources say the school enrolled more than 900 all-male students. When he transferred to the Jesuit High School in Florida, sources say the school enrolled more than 200 all-male students. News reports also reveal he worked with the high school baseball team.

Furthermore, reports indicate that during his tenure at Immaculate Conception—which had a grade school—Fr. Hatrel received a recommendation highlighting his close relationship with the students.

Fr. Thomas Hatrel died on May 7, 1988.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Norman Rogge – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Father Norman Rogge

Diocese of Alexandria

Fr. Norman Rogge Horowitz Law Ordained: 1956

Convicted: 1967; 1985

Removed: 2002

Death: 2009

Assignment History:

  • 1956-1957: St. Mary’s College (Saint Mary’s, Kansas)
  • 1957-1958: St. Robert’s Hall (Pomfret, Connecticut)
  • 1958-1960: Jesuit High School (Dallas, Texas)
  • 1960-1979: Sacred Heart (Tampa, Florida)
  • 1960-1979: Juvenile Detention Home (Tampa, Florida)
  • 1979-1981: St. Ignatius (Mobile, Alabama)
  • 1981-1982: Jesuit Theological Union (Berkeley, California)
  • 1982-1985: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Campti, Louisiana)
  • 1982-1985: St. Joseph’s Chapel (Trichel) (Natchitoches, Louisiana)
  • 1982-1985: Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (Black Lake, Louisiana)
  • 1982-1985: St. Patrick’s (Montgomery, Louisiana)
  • 1988-1989: Ignatius Residence (New Orleans, Louisiana)
  • 1989-2002: St. Charles College (Grand Coteau, Louisiana)
  • 1998-2002: St. Charles Borromeo (Grand Coteau, Louisiana)
  • 1998-2002: Christ the King (Bellevue, Louisiana)

Summary of the Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Norman Rogge

In December 2018, the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province named Fr. Norman Rogge on its list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The province based the list on completed investigations.

The Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province did not provide any additional details about the nature and scope of the allegations against Fr. Rogge. However, it is known that Fr. Rogge has allegedly abused numerous children and was convicted twice for child abuse.

Fr. Norman Rogge’s 1985 Allegation and Conviction

While the diocese did not provide more information about the nature and scope of the 1985 allegation in Fr. Rogge’s file, Fr. Rogge was convicted of lewdness with a minor that year.

Fr. Norman Rogge Horowitz Law
News clipping about Fr. Norman Rogge’s arrest in 1985.

While visiting Tampa in July 1984, Fr. Rogge and two other men took an eleven-year-old boy to a country cabin for a weekend. Police reports say the men walked around the cabin naked and performed inappropriate acts in the child’s presence. One of the men, a convicted child molester, allegedly threatened to kill the child if he told anyone about his experience.

Fr. Rogge—identified as Anthony J. Rogge, a.k.a. Norman J. Rogge, in police reports—was later arrested and charged with the Sexual Battery of a Minor. Records indicate Fr. Rogge pleaded nolo contendere or no contest, which means Fr. Rogge accepted the punishment of a guilty plea without admitting guilt. The court sentenced him to probation and confinement at Servants of Paraclete in New Mexico. Once Fr. Rogge completed probation, the conviction was removed from his record.

Altogether, it is unclear if this is the same allegation the Diocese of Alexandria referenced in its 2019 list. However, the Permanent Review Board, which evaluates all allegations of clerical sexual misconduct involving minors, investigated the allegation and determined it was credible.

1967 Conviction and Subsequent Allegations

1985 was not Fr. Norman Rogge’s first conviction. Police records indicate that two decades prior, he was convicted of molesting a fourteen-year-old boy in Tampa.

In 1967, Fr. Rogge served as a counselor in a juvenile group home when he groped the child’s genitals at a movie theatre. Police reports also reveal that Fr. Rogge admitted to asking a male minor for oral sex. Much like the outcome of his 1985 conviction, the court placed Fr. Rogge on probation and sent him to a treatment center. His criminal record was also cleared after his probation ended.

While some of Fr. Rogge’s abuses are documented in police reports and court documents, sources indicate more allegations exist outside of official documentation. In 2002, a former resident of the juvenile group home where Fr. Rogge worked said Fr. Rogge repeatedly fondled him in 1963. Multiple residents of the group home told investigators that Fr. Rogge touched them inappropriately during nude swimming lessons near a cottage Rogge owned.

Fr. Rogge’s Continued Career and Assignment History

Despite two probation sentences and two known visits to treatment centers, Fr. Norman Rogge was in ministry for nearly 50 years. Ordained in 1956, Fr. Rogge worked in parishes, schools, and youth detention centers throughout the South.

Shortly after his ordination, Fr. Rogge was assigned to the Jesuit High School in Dallas, Texas. Sources say that Jesuit High School had about 590-613 male students at the time. After his conviction in 1967, he was sent to St. Ignatius in Mobile, Alabama. According to BishopAccountability.com, St. Ignatius had nearly 500 students.

Sources say Fr. Rogge then left Alabama and moved to Florida. In Florida, records show Fr. Rogge worked at least high schools—one being Sacred Heart that had anywhere from 400-600 students. Shortly after his conviction in 1985, Fr. Rogge worked at St. Charles Borromeo, which had over 300 students.

The Diocese of Lafayette removed Fr. Rogge in 2002 after journalists highlighted his criminal record and assignment history. After his removal, Fr. Rogge lived at Ignatius Residence until his death in February 2009.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Dn. Virgil Maxey Wheeler – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Deacon Virgil Maxey Wheeler  

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Virgil Maxey Wheeler Archdiocese of New Orleans Horowitz Law

Ordained: 2018

Removed: 2020

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Francis Xavier Church (Metairie, LA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Dn. Virgil Maxey Wheeler:

Prior to his ordination as a deacon in 2018, Virgil Maxey (V.M.) Wheeler served on the boards governing the Archdiocese of New Orleans‘ fundraising arm and some of its senior housing facilities. He is believed to be on a leave of absence from the well-known Chaffe McCall law firm due to recent allegations of sexual misconduct. He has also worked as an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School.

According to media reports, in August 2020, the archdiocese removed Wheeler from ministry amid an allegation that he abused a boy under the age of 13 two decades earlier. His leave of absence from Chaffe McCall began around the same time.  In November 2020, Wheeler was being investigated for allegations of the rape in his home that occurred between January 2000 and December 2001. In March 2021, he was arrested on one count of sexual battery and two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile. In July 2021, a civil lawsuit was filed.

According to the lawsuit, “Wheeler began grooming a 10- or 11-year-old John Doe and his older brother by taking them to restaurants, movies, and buying them gifts. Wheeler likewise groomed John Doe’s parents by spending time at their home and earning their trust.”

The lawsuit also details how “numerous influential Catholics” pushed for Wheeler’s return to the ministry. One prominent donor to the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans reportedly offered $400,000 to the alleged victim to settle his child sexual claims and stop cooperating with police in a criminal investigation.

The lawsuit said Vinny Mosca, a powerful attorney and former mayor of Harahan, “attempted to discourage the initiation of criminal charges because it would be a ‘media feeding frenzy’ and negative press for John Doe and his family.” According to media reports, he arranged a meeting with the victim’s parents “to see if there was a possibility for an amicable and expeditious resolution to this matter.” Later, Mosca was hired as an attorney for the Deacon himself.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Lousiana clergy sexual abuse

Attention to Clergy Sexual Abuse Began in Louisiana in 1983

Do you think the Catholic clergy sexual abuse and cover up crisis started in Boston in 2002? Think again.  It really started much earlier, in 1983 in fact, down in Louisiana.

And now – finally, thankfully – there’s a new Louisiana law that may benefit some of those very first clergy abuse survivors who stepped forward, long before the pubic had even heard the phrase ‘pedophile priest.’

Many of those brave pioneers were victims of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe, the first U.S. priest to generate nationwide headlines due to his stunning crimes against kids.

https://bit.ly/35v32V7

His victims started filing abuse reports in the early and mid-1980s, eventually leading to Fr. Gauthe’s 1985 conviction on charges of molesting at least 39 boys, mostly in the Lafayette diocese.

Imagine, for a moment, what they endured. Horrific childhood sexual trauma, inflicted by a so-called “man of God,” who represented Jesus, who could forgive their sins and help them attain eternal life in heaven where they would be surrounded by family and friends. And again, all this back in the day when the sexual violation of kids was literally unspeakable and when virtually no one heard, thought or talked about child sex crimes committed and concealed by men of the cloth.

And now, decades later, some of those very same victims – along with perhaps hundreds or thousands of others hurt in institutions (churches, schools, camps, day care centers and the like) – FINALLY have a real shot at justice.

Why? Because Louisiana lawmakers joined the movement towards greater protection of the vulnerable and greater justice for the wounded, by enacting a civil window which enable them to have their day in court and expose those who committed or concealed (or ARE committing and concealing) the most heinous crime possible against children: child sexual abuse.

It’s hard for victims to come forward now, even after the on-going clergy sex abuse crisis has been widely publicized for decades. Imagine, if you can, just how much harder it was for Fr. Gauthe’s victims to step forward decades ago.

And of course in the intervening decades, countless other boys and girls have been traumatized by sick clerics pursuing their own sexual gratification under the guise of administering sacraments and teaching religion and offering guidance to often struggling youngsters. They too, for the most part, have been frozen out of the justice system due to archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly statutes of limitations, statutes that are now temporarily suspended, allowing those who are suffering in shame, silence and self-blame to step into the light, and the courtroom, to publicly ‘out’ criminals who have evaded detection for years.

It’s one heck of an opportunity. And a long overdue one.

The law extends to molesters and enablers in all kinds of workplaces. And to get an idea of just how widespread abuse is in Louisiana, consider just how many proven, admitted and credibly accused abusers are already publicly exposed in just one such workplace: the state’s Catholic seven dioceses.

According to the widely-respected and extraordinarily accurate website BishopAccountability.org, here are the numbers of publicly accused child molesters across the state, diocese by diocese:

New Orleans 95

Houma-Thibodaux 12

Baton Rouge 21

Lafayette 48

Alexandria 29

Lake Charles 6

Shreveport 1

So throw in other denominations and schools and music programs and athletic leagues and Scouting programs and ballet classes and tutoring arrangement and library reading clubs and chess trainers. . . well, you get the idea: many deeply wounded adults, who were hurt in these settings – now have both the chance to help themselves AND protect others by using the time-tested, open, imperfect but best-in-the-world court system.

Finally, if you’re wondering whatever became of Fr. Gauthe, that now-notorious predator, keep reading.

He eventually served ten years in prison and was sued multiple times. In 1997, he pled ‘no contest’ to abusing a three-year-old boy in Texas and was given seven years’ probation. That same year, he was charged with raping a young girl at gunpoint and was jailed for two years until those charges were dropped.

As of 2008, he was living near Houston. In 2008, he was arrested for failing to register as sex offender and served two years in jail, winning release in 2010. In 2014, he was living in San Leon, Texas.

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Gauthe_Gilbert_J.htm

https://www.saintjosephabbey.com/abbey-statement-2018

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana.  Our lawyers offer free and confidential legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Catholic Church.