Diocese releases names of Clergy

Names of Clergy accused

The following names are those of clergy duly incardinated or at one time serving in the Diocese of Alexandria accused of sexual misconduct and abuse of minors by allegations brought by victims or by written testimony:

A: Diocesan Clergy – Living

Deacon Raymond M. Jones

• Review of Deacon Raymond Jones’ file in 2019 showed evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating from 1982.
• Deacon Jones was suspended from active ministry when the allegation was made known in 1986.
• His scheduled ordination to the priesthood was cancelled in light of the evidence and he was encouraged to seek laicization by Bishop Friend.
• He subsequently left the diocese.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegation was deemed credible.

Donald Rogers

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1962 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004.
• Fr. Rogers was removed from active ministry in 1967.
• Fr. Rogers was laicized in 1974.
• Review of Fr. Rogers’ file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of minors.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.
• Fr. Rogers was born in 1930 and would be 88 at the time of this letter. His whereabouts are unknown.

Fr. Victor Sepsi

• Review of Fr. Sepsi’s file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1960s.
• Fr. Sepsi left the diocese and active ministry in 1967.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.
• Fr. Sepsi was born in 1930 and would be 88 at the time of this letter. His whereabouts are unknown.

B: Diocesan Clergy – Deceased

Fr. Frederick Lyons

• Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1960s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2005 and 2006.
• Fr. Lyons was removed from active ministry in 2006.
• Fr. Lyons died on March 13, 2019.
• The allegations were deemed credible.
• After completion of the investigation, Fr. Lyons’ case was referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and ecclesiastical penalties were imposed in 2013.

Fr. Edward Terry Allen

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1973 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2005.
• The accusation was deemed credible.
• Fr. Allen resigned from active ministry in 2005.
• A settlement was made with the victim in 2012.
• Fr. Allen died in 2018.

John Wesley Andries

• Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 2000s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2003 and Fr. Andries was removed from active ministry.
• The allegations were deemed credible.
• Civil charges were brought and Fr. Andries was convicted and sentenced.
• After completion of the investigation, Fr. Andries’ case was referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and Fr. Andries was laicized in 2007.
• John Andries died in 2013.

Fr. William Allison

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1961 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004.
• Fr. Allison died in 1986.
• Review of Fr. Allison’s file in 2019 showed evidence corroborating the allegation.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegation were deemed credible.

Fr. William Cody Bressler

• Multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male and female minors dating back to the 1960s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004 and again in 2005 and were deemed credible.
• Fr. Bressler died in 1990.
• Settlements were made with the victims in 2006 and 2017.
• Review of Fr. Bresslers’ file in 2019 showed evidence corroborating the allegations.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Msgr. Paul Conway

• Allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of female minors dating back to 1956 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004 and after investigation the allegations were deemed credible.
• Msgr. Conway died 1996.
• Settlements were paid to the victims in 2005 and in 2017.

Fr. Francis O. Couvillion

• Review of Fr. Couvillion’s file in 2019 revealed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1950s.
• Fr. Couvillion died in 1978.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Francis Patrick Donohoe

• Former Capuchin friar, incardinated in the Diocese of Alexandria by Bishop Desmond in 1942.
• Review of Fr. Donohoe’s file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating from the 1960s.
• Bishop Greco asked for and received Fr. Donohoe’s resignation as pastor and he was removed from active ministry in 1966.
• Fr. Donohoe died in 1983.
• This evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Harvey Fortier

• Review of Fr. Fortier’s file in 2019 revealed an allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1954.
• An allegation was made of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor in 1994.
• The allegation was deemed credible.
• A settlement was made with the victim in 1995.
• Fr. Fortier died in 1999.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. John Franklin

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1966 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004 and after investigation, the allegations were deemed credible. A settlement was made with the victim in 2005.
• Fr. Franklin left the diocese in 1973.
• Fr. Franklin died in Alabama in 1986.
• Review of Fr. Franklin’s file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Msgr. Robert Friend

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1954 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004.
• Msgr. Friend died 1977.
• The allegation was deemed credible and a settlement was made with the victim in 2005.

Fr. Edmund Gagné

• Review of Fr. Gagné’s file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1980s.
• Fr. Gagné was removed from public ministry in 1986.
• Fr. Gagné died in 1990.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Moise Richard Gremillion

• Review of Fr. Gremillion’s file in 2019 revealed multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating from the 1960s.
• Fr. Gremillion retired from active ministry in 1969.
• Fr. Gremillion died in 1973.
• This evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Michael G. Hannon

• Review of Fr. Hannon’s file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating from the 1960s.
• Fr. Hannon left the diocese in 1963.
• Fr. Hannon was incardinated in the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York in 1982.
• Fr. Hannon died in 2000.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Kenneth Mathews

• Review of Fr. Mathews’ file in 2019 showed evidence of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1980s.
• Fr. Mathews left active ministry on a leave of absence in 1998.
• Fr. Mathews died in 2008.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Msgr. H. Clinton Teacle

• Allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1960s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2009.
• Msgr. Teacle died in 1969.
• Review of Msgr. Teacle’s file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Joseph Tisch

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1967 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2014.
• Fr. Tisch left the diocese and active ministry in 1968.
• Joseph Tisch died in 2007 publically separated from the Church.
• Review of Fr. Tisch’s file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Léger Tremblay

• Allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating back to the 1950s and 1960s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2003 and again in 2005.
• Fr. Tremblay died in 2002.
• Settlements were made in 2004 and in 2005.
• Review of Fr. Tremblay’s file in 2019 showed further evidence of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Leo Van Hoorn

• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1967 was brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2006.
• Fr. Van Hoorn was suspended from active ministry by Bishop Graves in 1979.
• Fr. Van Hoorn died in 2006.
• Review of Fr. Van Hoorn’s file in 2019 showed further evidence of another allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

C: The following name is that of a Diocesan priest, incardinated in another diocese accused of sexual misconduct while serving in the Diocese of Alexandria:

Fr. Gilbert Gauthe

• Priest of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana
• Allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of male minors dating from the 1970s were brought before the Permanent Review Board in 2004.
• Fr. Gauthe was tried and convicted for similar offenses in Lafayette.
• The allegations were presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

D: The following names are those of religious priests, living and deceased, accused of sexual misconduct with minors while serving in the Diocese of Alexandria:

Fr. Charles Dekeukelare, CICM

• A priest of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
• Review of Fr. Dekeukelare’s file in 2019 showed evidence of an allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1982.
• Fr. Dekeukelare was removed from public ministry. He pled guilty to and was prosecuted for Indecent Behavior with a Juvenile in Avoyelles Parish in 1982.
• The evidence was present to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Norman Rogge, SJ

• A priest of the Society of Jesus.
• Review of Fr. Rogge’s file in 2019 showed evidence of an allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1985.
• Fr. Rogge was arrested on a charge of Sexual Battery of a male minor in Florida.
• He was sentenced in Florida on a charge of Lewd Conduct in the Presence of a Minor in 1985.
• Fr. Rogge died in 2009.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegations were deemed credible.

Fr. Louis Senesac, CSV

• A priest of the Clerics of Saint Viator.
• Review of Fr. Senesac’s file in 2019 showed evidence of an allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a male minor dating back to 1945.
• Fr. Senesac was removed from active ministry in the diocese.
• Fr. Senesac died in 1966.
• The evidence was presented to the Permanent Review Board in 2019 and the allegation was deemed credible.

Fr. Antonio Valez- Lopez

• A priest of the Congregation of Capuchin Religious Tertiaries of Our Lady of Sorrows.
• An allegation of sexual misconduct and abuse of a female minor dating back to 2006 was brought to the attention of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2009 where the abuse took place.
• The Diocese of Alexandria was informed of the investigation by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2016 and Fr. Valez-Lopez was removed from public ministry in the Diocese of Alexandria.
• The Archdiocese of Baltimore initiated proceedings and Fr. Valez-Lopez’s case was sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.

 

Letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Alexandria from Bishop David Talley

February 6, 2019

Like many of you, I was horrified and scandalized to read the results of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report published in the summer of 2018 detailing the history of sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy against minors over so many decades. In the 1980s, the public prosecution of Fr. Gilbert Gauthe of the Diocese of Lafayette shined a light into the darkness of this evil in the life of the Church.

Since the adoption of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002, the ‘Dallas Charter’, our diocese has urged victims of clergy sexual abuse of minors to come forward and many have. In the last sixteen years our Diocesan Permanent Review Board, composed of both laity and clergy, has reviewed all allegations made against clerics, diocesan and religious, and laity, living and deceased. Counseling and pastoral care have been offered to all who have come forward and in some cases, financial settlements were made.

As Bishop of Alexandria, I have promised to do everything in my power to safeguard our children and youth and to help those abused in the past. To aid in the healing process, in August of 2018, I ordered an examination of all our files dating back to the establishment of the Diocese of Natchitoches in 1853. A system of examination was established by which every file held by our Diocese of Alexandria would be reviewed by two sets of examiners: one comprised of the chancellor and vice-chancellor and one comprised of laity from our Permanent Review Board and other lay readers appointed by me.

To insure the most thorough process of examination in these cases, a special ad-hoc committee of the Review Board was established to review all the case histories of the Review Board from its inception up to the present day, along with all the information gleaned from the file review. This was done with a view to publish a list of the names of those clergy (bishops, priests and deacons), living and deceased, who we believe could be credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

In publishing this list, it is not our intent to re-victimize those who have already been so wounded by the actions of some clerics who served in our diocese over the past one hundred sixty-five years. This evil can only be purged through a vigilant process that is transparent to the public. Our response must demonstrate the highest levels of honesty and scrutiny.

I believe, together with all the members of the Permanent Review Board, that we have done what we can to present as truthful and as thorough a record of the alleged instances of sexual abuse by clerics against minors during our long history. I know that this list may be incomplete, not because we have held anything back, but because this kind of evil is perpetrated in secret and out of fear and shame some may not have been able to come forward.

The names that are published are those of clergy, diocesan and religious, living and deceased, whom the Permanent Review Board unanimously believes have been or could be credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. If any allegation is made against a living cleric, national and diocesan protocols, in place since 2002, become applicable. When this occurs, the police are notified and our Victims’ Assistance Coordinator begins his service to the victim while an assessor begins an investigation for the Permanent Review Board.

Some of the names are of living clerics. Such cases have been brought forward for review according to national and diocesan protocols and procedures. However, the great majority of the names listed are of clergy who were deceased at the time allegations were made or their files were reviewed. On examination, in regard to these deceased clerics, enough written evidence was reviewed case by case to believe that accusations against them are, in all likelihood, credible.

While this process of review and publication is not a declaration of guilt, it is our best assessment of all the evidence available to us at this time. We believe that publicly listing these names is a matter of justice if we are to help the victims and the Church we love and serve. It is our continued hope that anyone who has been abused will come forward to speak the truth and seek the healing that all desire.

If you are a victim of sexual abuse, please contact your local law enforcement agency. Sexual abuse is a serious crime and must be treated as such. If you would like more information or are in need of assistance, please contact our Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, Dr. Lee Kneipp, at (318) 542-9805.

Along with the need for justice, we must, at the same time, seek the healing grace that can come only from Our Savior who has ransomed us from the darkness of sin and death. Remembering Christ, Who is our Light, I ask all of us to continue to be vigilant in our efforts to safeguard our children and youth.

Beginning in August of 2018, a group of lay leaders and a group of our clergy have assisted me in a complete study of our records of all the clergy that have served in our parishes, missions, institutions and schools. This action has been done to offer the people of this diocese a complete record of those clerics that have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of minors. The work has been a painful but necessary examination of the past. It is only by shedding light on our past that we as the Church in central Louisiana can move forward in hope of healing and strength. Eight lay people, including three members of the Permanent Review Board and seven members of the clergy assisted me in reviewing 535 files of clergy who have served in the diocese since its establishment in 1853. This represents all existing records of clergy who have served in the diocese since its establishment to the date of this publication.

A careful examination of this publication will show that most of these clergy were deceased before any investigation of allegations against them could be made according to the standards implemented by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (2002). What we see in examining the written records is that there was no standard response on the part of our past bishops and clergy to the allegations made. This publication of the names of the clerics listed above is not a declaration of their guilt. But, from an exhaustive review, the evidence of allegations brought against each cleric was deemed to be credible based on the materials examined. The Permanent Review Board of the Diocese of Alexandria in their study of each case unanimously agreed to the publication of these names.

To gain perspective on this evil chapter in the life of our diocese, it is important to look at a chronology of the credible accusations made against 27 out of over 535 clerics who have served the diocese since its founding. These 27 cases represent roughly 5% of the number of clerics who have served in central Louisiana. The majority of the documented cases of abuse occurred in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s:

1940 to 1949 One case
1950 to 1959 Four cases
1960 to 1969 Thirteen cases
1970 to 1979 Two cases
1980 to 1989 Five cases
1990 to 2002 One case

After the implementation of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People:

One case

Since the adoption of the Dallas Charter and the implementation of the VIRTUS program, along with greater vigilance in our formation programs, we have seen one new case where an allegation of abuse has been deemed credible by the Permanent Review Board. Still, one instance of abuse is one too many. It is my hope that by constant vigilance and awareness we may prevent this tragedy from ever happening again. We must never forget the damage that has been done to the victims, their families and to the whole Body of Christ which is the Church. While we live with the reality of evil, it is my hope that none of us will ever lose sight of the victory that has been won for us by Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Trusting in his love for us, I, together with all my fellow priests, deacons, religious and coworkers in the diocese extend our heartfelt sorrow for all the pain and anguish caused to our children and youth by this evil. Please know that I am ready to meet with any victim in this healing process.

I remain fraternally yours

In the light and love of the Lord,

Most Reverend David P. Talley, M.S.W., J.C.D.
Diocese of Alexandria

Permanent Review Board Members:
Chad Gremillion, Chair
Dcn. William Aldridge
Stacey Auzenne
Fr. Scott Chemino, V.G.
Fr. James Ferguson
Carol Hirchak
Claire Lemoine
Dr. Lee Kneipp, Victims Assistance Coordinator

Team of Personnel File Reviewers:
1. Pamela Delrie
2. Robert Dvorak
3. Gabriel Rodriguez
4. Robert Tompkins
5. Kenneth Wasmer
6. Chad Gremillion, PRB Chairman
7. Carol Hirchak, PRB Member
8. Claire Lemoine, PRB Member
9. Fr. Chad Partain, Chancellor
10. Dcn. Richard Mitchell, Vice - Chancellor


If you have reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected, and that the abuse is by a parent or caretaker, please first call the Louisiana Child Abuse / Neglect Hotline at 1-855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437) and/or your local law enforcement agency. If suspected abuse is related to a diocesan/church/school program, or if abuse occurred by anyone acting in Church services, a report should then also be made to the diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Dr. Lee Kneipp, Clinical Psychologist at 318-542-9805.

For additional information on the policies that govern the matters discussed above, please visit
www.diocesealex.org/our-faith/healing or the following websites:

For the Policy of the Diocese of Alexandria for the Protection of Minors:
https://www.diocesealex.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Diocesan-Policy-Concerning-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors1-2.pdf

For the Diocese of Alexandria’s Code of Pastoral Conduct for Priests, Deacons, Pastoral Ministers, Administrators, Staff and Volunteers:
https://www.diocesealex.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Code-of-Pastoral-Conduct.pdf

For the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People:
http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/charter.cfm

Contact Information:

Joan Ferguson and Cari Terracina
Communications Office
Diocese of Alexandria
318-445-6424 Ext. 255 or 264
joanferguson@diocesealex.org or cari.terracina@diocesealex.org.