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Rev. Gilbert J. Gauthe

Ordained: 1972

 

Gauthe was the first widely publicized clergy sex offender. First allegations against him came out in 1983. Is said to have sexually abused at least 100 children. Convicted in 1985 of abuse of as many as 39 young children between 1972-1983. Served less than 10 years in prison. There have been multiple civil suits and settlements. In 1997 he pleaded no contest to abuse of 3 year old boy in Texas. Received 7 years probation. Charged also in 1997 of raping a girl 20 years previously. As of 2008, Gauthe was living near Houston, TX. He was arrested in April 2008 for failing to register as a sex offender.

 

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1972

Lafayette bishop was Maurice Schexnayder (1956-1972), replaced by Gerard Louis Frey (1972-1989)

1973 Sacred Heart of Jesus

Broussard

Admitted to having molested three young boys from this parish in 1972. Nuns at the parish were concerned about Gauthe's behavior with children, including noticing that little boys would spend weekend nights with him in the rectory. (The Times of Acadiana
May 23, 1985)

LA

2/2

Gauthe worked under Msgr. John Kemps.

Parish had a school with 199 students.
1973 1976 Our Lady of Perpetual Help

New Iberia

Bishop Frey confronted Gauthe in 1974 about a report of his having had sexual contact with a "young man", and Gauthe admitted that the report was true. Frey appointed Gauthe chaplain of the diocesan Boy Scouts the following year.

Gauthe admitted in a 1980s deposition that he had sexually abused six boys in this parish. (The Times of Acadiana
May 23, 1985)

LA

3/3

Gauthe is listed last, after Rev. Joseph A. Bourque and Rev. Martin C. Borcherding. Rev. Daniel Schexnayder was in residence 1975-1976.

 

1974 1981 Diocesan Director of Scouting        
1976 1977 St. Mary Magdalen

Abbeville

Two parishioners of this parish reported to Msgr. Mouton that Gauthe had licked their sons on the cheeks. Mouton alerted the vicar general, Msgr. Henri Larroque, and Gauthe underwent psychiatric treatment, while remaining an active priest. (The Times of Acadiana
May 23, 1985)

LA

3/4

Gauthe worked under Msgr. Richard vonPhul Mouton and Rev. Glen J. Provost. Rev. J.C. Sinnige was in residence.

Parish schools were Seton Elementary, with 105 students; Mt. Carmel Elementary, with 528 students; Vermillion Catholic High, with 190 students.
1977 1983 St. John's

Henry

In April 1980 St. John's parishioners complained in a letter to Bishop Frey that Gauthe's house had become a "second home" to "a bunch of" unsupervised Abbeville boys. There was no intervention.

In 1980 Gilbert Gauthe's sister-in-law reported to police that he was a pedophile. This was after she caught her husband, who was Gilbert's brother, Richard, molesting one of her children, and Richard told her that he and Gilbert had been "doing this for years". The sister in law stated that the police didn't believe her. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998)

Gauthe was suspended from ministry in June of 1983, after the father of three little boys reported to an attorney that his sons had been molested for several years in Henry by Gauthe. These boys told their therapist about many other Gauthe victims. (The Times of Acadiana
May 23, 1985)

Gauthe eventually admitted to raping or sodomizing at least 37 children. (National Law Journal
April 4, 1988)

In a 1986 civil trial, a boy testified that Gauthe began molesting him when he was seven years old, in 1982, on his first day as an altar boy. Gauthe involved him and other altar boys in group sex, which he photographed. Gauthe used both threats and gifts to keep children from telling. (Associated Press
February 15, 1987)

LA 1/1 Gauthe is referred to as "Rev. Msgr." in the 1978 and 1979 Directories, but not thereafter.
1977 1983 St. James Esther LA 1/1 St. James was a mission of St. John's.
1983 1986 Absent on Sick Leave      

Gauthe does not appear in the Directories after 1987.

Gauthe does not appear in the Directories after 1987.

Upon his removal from St. John's, Gauthe saw a psychiatrist in Opelousas, then went to live with his family in Napoleonville, LA. He spent 1984 at the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville, MA. The diocese settled with nine plaintiffs in June 1984. (The Times of Acadiana
May 23, 1985)

Pleaded guilty in 1985 to sexually abusing 11 altar boys and sentenced to 20 years in prison. (Associated Press
February 15, 1987)

In a 1986 civil trial, the jury ruled in favor of another victim. (Associated Press
February 15, 1987)

1986 1995 Wade Correctional Center Homer LA inmate Per news reports, Gauthe received special treatment in prison, including his pick of teenaged inmates for sexual trysts, and was released after less than nine years, in 1995. A federal judge had intervened on his behalf. The judge was from Gauthe's hometown, and Gauthe's grandfather had helped the judge's widowed mother many years previously. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998)
1995 1997  

Ace

Arrested for molesting a three year old boy in July 1996. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998)

TX  

Lived in a house that belonged to his sister and posed as a retired paramedic.

Pleaded no contest to "injury to a child", and sentenced to seven years probation.

1997     Waskom TX   Maintained a house in Waskom, but lived in a house in Shreveport. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998)
March 1997 Dec. 1997 Shreveport Jail

Shreveport

Charged with having raped a female child at gunpoint 20 years previously.

Charged with rape after another former altar boy came forward. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998)

LA counselor to sex offenders  
Dec. 1997 Late 1999? Lafayette Parish Jail Lafayette LA inmate As of Nov. 1998, Gauthe was in jail, awaiting trial for rape. (Houston Chronicle
November 1, 1998) He reportedly was released after two years, when the charges were dropped. (Women in Crime Ink, April 29, 2008)
Late 1999? 2001 The Friendship Center Conroe TX driver of commuter van for the elderly Said to have been fired after two years, when employers learned of his criminal history. (Women in Crime Ink, April 29, 2008)
2001 April 2008   La Marque TX   In April 2008, Gauthe was located in this TX town, which is near Houston. He was working as a charter bus driver for cruise ships and school trips, and living on company property, per news reports. Gauthe was found not to have registered as a sex offender. (KTRK
April 22, 2008)
April 2008     Galveston TX   Arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in Galveston. Gauthe had recently been registered as a sex offender in La Marque, then quit his job at the limousine company and moved in his camper to Galveston State Park, without providing the required seven day notification. He was sent to the Galveston County jail to await trial. (Houston Chronicle
April 24, 2008)

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1973-1987).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

 
 

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