Former Jesuit priest charged with video voyeurism and sexual battery; SNAP fears that there are more victims
A former Jesuit priest, Stephen Sauer, was arrested on December 14, 2021, and charged with five counts of video voyeurism and one count of sexual battery. A spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said. “We do believe there may be more victims.” Anyone with additional information should contact JPSO’s Personal Violence Section at (504) 364-5300.
While it has not yet been disclosed whether or not the accusations arise from Sauer's work, we too fear that there may well be additional victims, either at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where the former Jesuit worked from 2008-2012, or at the various other organizations with which he was associated. Sauer was the Executive Director of Arc of Greater New Orleans, which provides services to the mentally disabled of all ages until his arrest. The former priest was apparently also a co-founder and former board chairman of Hotel Hope, a New Orleans non-profit that provides shelter for homeless families. He also held various other positions that may have put him in contact with vulnerable populations.
A spokesperson for the Jesuits said that Sauer left the order “at his own request" in 2020. However, we know that perpetrators tend to seek out positions of authority that put them near potential victims. The fact that Sauer worked for five years at ARC, one year at Hotel Hope, four years at Harry Tompson Center for Homeless Services, three years at Spring Hill College in Mobile, two years at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles and three years at the University of San Francisco is a cause for serious concern.
Sauer's work history appears to have given him direct access to children, college students, adults with diminished capacity, and adults in vulnerable periods of their lives. We feel that this is a cause for serious concern. We urge Jesuits officials, as well as leaders in the institutions and organizations where Sauer worked, to use all the resources at their disposal to ensure that any potential victims are notified of the charges. We also hope that this arrest will encourage anyone who may have information about the charges or who may have been harmed to come forward and make a report to law enforcement.
(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)