'For our children’: Survivors of church sex abuse calling on action
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Almost one year after Pennsylvania’s attorney general called for statute of limitations reform for sexual abuse, SNAP - the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests -- is asking for those same changes here in Louisiana, so victims can pursue justice.
In a shady spot in Jackson Square, Kevin Bourgeois and Richard Windmann stood together Saturday (Aug. 10), united as survivors, feet from St. Louis Cathedral.
“I can’t believe I’m here today. I really can’t. And I can’t imagine being anywhere else today,” Bourgeois said.
Windmann, now a leader with SNAP, is no stranger to publicity. He told his story on FOX 8 last fall, detailing accusations of sexual abuse by Pete Modica, a Jesuit High School janitor and former officer Stanley Burkhardt.
But, Saturday was the first day Bourgeois has appeared on camera, having only recently become public with allegations of abuse against now deceased priest Carl Davidson.
“I feel like a thousand pounds has been lifted off of me,” Bourgeois said.
But that’s not the way he felt at first. Bourgeois said, for 35 years, he didn’t tell anyone what he says happened to him while he attended the now closed St. John Vianney Prep School in the 1980s.
“When Archbishop Gregory Aymond said he was going to release the list of names back in November, I’m like, ‘Wow, my secret is going to be out,’ because it was a secret. I’d never told anybody before,” Bourgeois recalled. “I didn’t have the ability to come forward as a 16-year-old boy. Not at all. No one was going to believe me. I didn’t want to admit it happened. It was horrifying and embarrassing.”
Bourgeois said when the list of credibly accused clergy members was released and Davidson was on it, he received nothing but love and support.
It’s one of the reasons he and Windmann addres...