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Lawsuit filed against Diocese of Baton Rouge under new child sexual abuse law

The Diocese of Baton Rouge is under fire after claims of sexual abuse at one of their churches dating back to the 70s.
Published: Mar. 8, 2022 at 3:07 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Baton Rouge under a new law suspending the statute of limitations in sexual abuse cases in Louisiana.

The lawsuit names Fr. John Weber, who was a priest with the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Diocese of Baton Rouge. Weber died in 2000.

RELATED: 8 clergymen who worked in Baton Rouge area included on list of sex abusers from Archdiocese of New Orleans

According to the petition for damages, which was filed in East Baton Rouge Parish District Court, a man claims he was sexually abused by Weber at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Baton Rouge beginning when he was about 13 years old. The church was also named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Weber sexually abused the teen on multiple occasions around 1975 and 1976.

The attorneys for the alleged victim said they believe this is the first lawsuit naming Weber that was filed under a new law that temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases.

“We do not comment on pending litigation,” the Diocese of Baton Rouge responded to a request for a comment about the lawsuit.

In June 2021, Louisiana lawmakers joined other states across the country by opening a three-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible for their abuse. The window remains open until 2024.

In addition to St. Charles Borromeo, Weber also worked at the following parishes between 1945 and 1995, when he retired:

  • Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Plattenville, La.)
  • Holy Trinity (New Orleans, La.)
  • St. Ann (Morganza, La.)
  • St. Eloi (Theriot, La.)
  • St. Rita (New Orleans, La.)
  • St. Isidore the Farmer (Baker, La.)
  • St. Theresa of Avila (Gonzales, La.)
  • St. Philip (Vacherie, La.)

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