WDSU Investigates: Victim of alleged sexual abuse by Catholic church deacon speaks out
NEW ORLEANS —
A victim of alleged sexual abuse by a member of the clergy is speaking out to WDSU Investigates.
His comments come after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans gave him a high six-figure settlement. The man's lawyer said there could be more victims.
The victim and his lawyer now want the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office to look into a criminal prosecution.
"I was a child and he was an adult male in a powerful position," said the victim, whom WDSU is not identifying.
The victim of the alleged sexual abuse said that due to what happened to him while he was an altar boy at Holy Rosary School in Mid-City, he's no longer a believer.
"I can never fully put my trust in the faith of the Catholic Church ever again. It'll never happen," the victim said.
He said he attended Holy Rosary in the late '70s and early '80s. He said the person who abused him is a former deacon and teacher named George Brignac, who lived right across the street from the campus.
"It started at his home and he'd say, 'Well, I have to go home before I bring you home,' and it started smaller with smaller things and then it eventually worked its way up to him raping me," said the victim.
The man, now in his 40s, said he suppressed the memory of the rapes until recently.
After he filed suit and provided evidence to the church, he received a high six-figure settlement from the church.
"It was someone that I trusted and my family trusted in. He was a member of the church and employee and teacher of the school," said the victim.
Attorney Roger Stetter represents the victim in this case.
"The church has been complicit for years and years and years," Stetter said.
Stetter said the matter at Holy Rosary is far from over.
"Several victims have already called me and I hope that, through this public prosecution, more victims will come forward," he said.
The victim now wants local law enforcement agencies to look at the case.
"I definitely think he should be prosecuted and I think anyone who allowed it to happen should be accessories and prosecuted as well," said the victim.
The archdiocese said Brignac has not been a part of the church or taught at a Catholic school since the late 1980s. He still lives in the area.
When WDSU contacted Brignac by phone, he said he had no comment and hung up.
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