Saunders & Walker, P.A. Click here to e-mail Joseph Saunders Click here to e-mail Joe
Home Practice Areas About Us Client Resources Contact Us
Click here to e-mail Joe
Florida Lawyer
Information Center Practice Areas Home
Drugs / Supplements
Medical Devices
Transvaginal Mesh Transvaginal Mesh Recall
Biomet Hip
Jack3d / OxyElite Pro Jack3d / OxyElite Pro Lawsuits
Topamax Lawsuit Topamax Birth Defects
Fosamax Recall Fosamax Recall
Zicam Lawsuit Zicam Lawsuit
Acetaminophen Acetaminophen
Hydroxycut Lawsuit Hydroxycut Lawsuit
Fen Phen Fen Phen
Zyprexa Zyprexa
Ortho Evra Ortho Evra
Levaquin Tendon Levaquin Tendonitis
Heparin Recall Heparin Class Action
Avandia Avandia Recall
Seroquel Seroquel Recall
Kava Kava Kava Kava
Oxycontin Oxycontin
Rezulin Rezulin
Medical Devices
DePuy Hip Implant Johnson & Jhonson DePuy Hip Implant Recall Lawsuit
Zimmer Knee Implant Zimmer Knee Replacement Implant
Bone Graft Lawsuit Bone Graft Lawsuit
Pain Pump Lawsuit Pain Pump Lawsuit
Gadolinium MRI Gadolinium Lawsuit
Defibrillator Leads Defibrillator Leads
Hernia Mesh Hernia Mesh
Defibrillator Defibrillator
Tampa Attorney

Please Visit Our Attorney And Class Action Lawyer Blog

Visit SaundersBlog.com

Recall Lawyer
Accident Attorney

Sexual Abuse News


Gilbert Gauthe: Portrait of a Priest Pedophile

Priest Abuse Church Abuse Pedophile Priest Main & Sexual Abuse Main Page

When the horror of Rev. Gilbert Gauthe’s actions was revealed in the mid 1980’s, few would have ever surmised that the serial pedophile’s behavior would begin a maelstrom of bad publicity and crisis for the Catholic Church. Gauthe, a priest in the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana, was ordained a Catholic priest and began secretly molesting a young boy as early as 1972. As in all huge scandals, the molestations were only part of the greater crisis that would lead all the way to the Vatican and the Pope himself. Just as in Watergate, the scandal arose in large part in reaction to the criminal behavior. Those who supervised Gauthe transferred him from parish to parish, keeping his molestations a secret from unsuspecting parishioners. Documents, letters from parishioners, priest personnel meetings, were kept in the secret archives, out of the view of the general public and law enforcement. The Catholic Church, birthed in persecution, knew how to keep things hidden.

Gilbert Gauthe was a popular young priest who groomed his prey by getting close to the family. He sought those young boys who had no father figure, whose mothers looked up to the priest as the authority figure. He trained the young boys from the age of 9 or 10 to become altar boys. These altar boys received “special treatment” from Gauthe. The priest took them on camping trips, introduced them to video games after molesting them, and bought them gifts. Gauthe would begin slowly. Initially, he would tickle the boys, wrestle with them and then rape them. All of the incidences,” Gauthe said under oath, “had, more or less, the same pattern where I got to know one of the children, and, you know, they would come over to the house a few times, and then there would be just some wrestling or tickling or something like that, and then there’d be some molesting, and then from that point on we’d go into the sexual activity . . . .”

According to Jason Berry, the Louisiana journalist who covered and wrote about the Gauthe case, his victims didn’t come forward because of the aura surrounding the priesthood. Berry wrote, “Father Gauthe was a man before whom his young victims saw their parents kneel, a man to whom parent and child alike confessed sins, a surrogate father and a figure of consummate authority.”

The Church’s official response would be repeated in the twenty years since the Gauthe case: “Please be assured that the Church and its officials have always been concerned about the interests of the individuals and families affected and are and will continue to do all things possible, both legally and morally, to rectify—mitigate any damages and to protect as best it can against any future recurrences.” The official response of the Church belied the fact that none of Gauthe’s superiors ever contacted his psychiatrists, acted on their evaluations, or took steps to remove a serial pedophile from direct contact with unsuspecting, innocent children. The interests of the Church as an institution and its reputation were paramount in dealing with Rev. Gauthe.




<<back to sexual abuse news

Home  |  Practice Areas  |  About Us  |  Client Resources |  Contact Us  |  Site Map  |  Disclaimer
©2005-2014 Saunders & Walker, P.A.