SNAP applauds as the first lawsuits are filed under a new Louisiana law giving survivors of child sexual abuse a pathway to the justice they deserve
HB 492 only went into effect on August 1, 2021, and already two men sexually abused as children have taken advantage of this “window to justice.” We hope that others will also seize this opportunity to hold those who abuse boys and girls, as well as those who enable that abuse, accountable.
One of the lawsuits was filed in federal court against the Brothers of the Holy Cross Schools by John Lousteau, who says he was sexually abused by a clergy member employed at the school when John was in residence there. The complaint says that John attempted to obtain restitution from the order last year, but after telling him that they believed him, the Brothers ignored him, betraying John a second time.
The other lawsuit was filed in Orleans Parish state court by Richard Lane Woolley. The complaint accuses Father Valerie Pullman of abusing Richard while the cleric worked as a priest at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Arthur. The clergyman was also Richard's elementary school religion teacher at St. Maria Goretti Catholic School. The lawsuit says that Richard was only 12 years old at the time of the abuse.
We are elated at the opening of this window legislation in Louisiana, and we hope that these two brave men will receive the compensation they deserve for the pain they have carried alone for so long. We also encourage any other victims who have been time-barred from justice in Louisiana to come forward and get the help they need. At the same time, we know how difficult it can be to revisit the past, so we offer our network as a resource for those individuals navigating this difficult chapter in their lives.
CONTACT: Russ Hebron, SNAP Leader Louisiana (504-330-1067, [email protected]) Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(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)