Tag: New Orleans sex abuse

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. Thomas Naughton – Archdiocese of New Orleans

Father Thomas Naughton

Archdiocese of New Orleans

Fr. Thomas Naughton Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1965

Removed: 2002

Left: 2009

Death: 2012

Assignment History:

  • 1965-1966: Bellarmine School of Theology (North Aurora, IL)
  • 1966-1967: St. Stanislaus Novitiate (Cleveland, OH)
  • 1967-1968: Jesuit High School (El Paso, TX)
  • 1968-1970: Jesuit High School (Tampa, FL)
  • 1970-1972: St. Louis University (St. Louis, MO)
  • 1972-1973: Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1973-1979: Jesuit College Preparatory School (Dallas, TX)
  • 1979-1980: Jesuit School of Theology (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1980-1982: Not indexed in the Directories
  • 1982-1989: Manresa House of Retreats (Convent, LA)
  • 1989-1990: Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School (Houston, TX)
  • 1990-1991: Immaculate Conception (New Orleans, LA)
  • 1991-1995: Montserrat Retreat House (Lake Dallas, TX)
  • 1995-April 2002: St. Kilian’s (Mission Viejo, CA)
  • April 2002: (New Orleans, LA)
  • Aug. 2012: (Laguna Woods, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas Naughton

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

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.

2002 Allegation and Removal

In April of 2002, church officials placed Fr. Thomas Naughton on leave after a former student alleged the priest abused him when he was a sophomore at Jesuit College Preparatory School 24 years prior. Fr. Naughton, principal of Jesuit College Preparatory from 1973 to 1979, “left in a hurry,” says a former board member of Jesuit Prep.

While church officials initially claimed this was the only allegation of sexual abuse against Fr. Naughton, reports indicate two complaints of misconduct were communicated to leadership in 1979.

According to a former president of Jesuit College Preparatory, Fr. Naughton allegedly groped a young faculty member in a locker room. It was also reported that Fr. Naughton was seen with someone in a “one-person tub” by student-athletes.

Further details about the reported abuse are not publicly available.

Fr. Thomas Naughton’s Career

Ordained in June 1965, Fr. Thomas Naughton spent approximately 37 years in ministry, working in high schools, parishes, and retreat houses. After Fr. Naughton’s removal in 2002, his whereabouts are unknown.

Fr. Thomas Naughton died in Laguna Woods, California, on August 12, 2012.

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.

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.

Formal Charges Brought against Dn. Virgil Maxey Wheeler

On December 8, sources say prosecutors in Jefferson Parish charged Dn. Wheeler with two counts of sexual battery and indecent behavior with a juvenile. According to the charging documents, the abuse occurred between March 2000 and March 2002. 

Sources say Dn. Wheeler and the victim’s family were friends, and that when Dn. Wheeler took the victim on a ski trip, he tried to coax the victim into his bed. Additional reports state that Dn. Wheeler allegedly took a shower with the victim and performed oral sex on him.

While the charges pertain to one victim, sources say law enforcement has received allegations that Dn. Wheeler has preyed on at least one other minor.

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.