Breaux Bridge priest pleads ‘not guilty’ in child porn case

Rev. F. David Broussard (Photo Credit: Louisiana State Police)

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (The Daily Advertiser) — The Rev. Felix David Broussard, accused 10 months ago in a child pornography case in Breaux Bridge, entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday morning in 16th Judicial District Court.

Broussard arrived before the courthouse opened, without an attorney present, however he identified Thomas Guilbeau as his attorney.

District Judge Pual deMahy set Broussard’s next court appearance for August.

A Diocese of Lafayette priest for more than two decades, Broussard last served as pastor at St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge at the time of his arrest in July 2016. In that capacity, he was also chancellor of the parish school.

State Police investigators said there were more than 500 pornographic images of “child sexual abuse” on Broussard’s personal computer when he was arrested, charged with pornography involving juveniles July 27. The investigation revealed he had sought and possessed such images for two years. The computer was recovered in the priest’s residence at the church.

Diocese of Lafayette Bishop Douglas Deshotel immediately placed Broussard on administrative leave; the accused pastor has been forbidden from exercising priestly duties since then. Under church law, the bishop is required to follow civil law and cooperate with civil authorities in child sex abuse cases.

Days after being accused, Broussard sent to his parish and to the diocese a verbal apology, delivered by Bishop Douglas Deshotel, who celebrated Masses at St. Bernard’s on the weekend following Broussard’s arrest. Deshotel had visited Broussard, who remained free Monday on $25,000 bond, in jail during that week. Deshotel relayed Broussard’s apology during his homily.

Diocesan spokeswoman Blue Rolfes said that following the end of the state’s case against Broussard the diocese may convene its own tribunal to weigh Broussard’s status with the church. Under the church’s own laws, sins of adultery including sex with minors are considered criminal acts.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s