Survivors in New Orleans Robbed of Day in Court as Deacon George Brignac Dies in Jail
A serial sexual predator from New Orleans has died in jail while awaiting trial on charges of child sexual abuse. Our hearts ache for his victims who were denied their day in court and decry the minimization and cover-ups by the Archdiocese of New Orleans that allowed him to abuse so many.
The fact is that George Brignac should have seen the inside of courtroom decades ago. He was arrested multiple times in the 1970s and 1980s but was only removed from ministry in 1988. Despite this removal, Brignac was still working in Louisiana churches as recently as 2018. This disturbing series of inaction and irresponsibility displayed by church officials from New Orleans endangered thousands of children and has directly harmed the many who were abused by him.
We are dismayed and disappointed that the playbook used by church officials across the country has once again successfully prevented a church-trained sex abuser from facing justice. We hope his victims are finding support and healing in this difficult time. We especially hope that parishioners and the public in New Orleans will continue to demand answers from Archbishop Gregory Aymond and other church leaders, not only about how Brignac was able to be hidden for so long, but what other abusers possibly remain hidden today.
Finally, we hope that this story serves as wake-up call to district attorneys and the attorney general in Louisiana. It is through their offices and action that justice will be served and abuse will be prevented. By conducting a secular, independent investigation into the Archdiocese of New Orleans, they can help uncover other cases that could still be charged and hopefully bring justice to other victims that was denied to the victims of George Brignac. We hope they use that power immediately.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)