Settlement Reached with Diocese of Lafayette for Molestation Perpetrated by Ex-Priest Michael Guidry

by Kristi S. Schubert

The Lamothe Law Firm negotiated a substantial settlement on behalf of our client and his family against the Diocese of Lafayette and ex-priest Michael Guidry. The lawsuit related to abuse during an incident in April of 2015 when our client, who was 16 years old at the time, was molested by Father Michael Guidry, a priest for the Diocese of Lafayette.

This case is an example of one of the many clergy abuse cases that has plagued the Diocese of Lafayette. The clergy abuse crisis in America first surfaced in the Diocese of Lafayette in the 1980s, where Father Gilbert Gauthe was the first Catholic priest in the U.S. to face a widely publicized criminal trial for child sexual abuse. Since then, the Diocese of Lafayette and the Catholic Church as a whole have adopted new policies purportedly intended to prevent clergy from sexually abusing children. Through aggressive litigation, the Lamothe Firm was able to expose the inadequacy of these new policies.

Over the course of two days, Lamothe Law Firm took Guidry’s deposition and elicited numerous damning admissions from the ex-priest. Guidry confessed that the new rules did not have any meaningful impact on his daily activities or on how he was overseen by the Diocese. Guidry said he made no attempt to hide the fact that he was spending time with our client alone at night in the rectory. He admitted that keeping the sexual abuse a secret from the Diocese was not difficult at all. According to Guidry, there were no policies or oversight systems in place that he had to evade.

As a condition of the settlement, the Lamothe Law Firm obtained a commitment from the Diocese of Lafayette to issue a public press release acknowledging that our client’s allegations against the priest were credible, denouncing Guidry’s behavior, publicly apologizing to our client, and announcing that Guidry has been permanently removed from ministry. Here’s an article from KATC News in Lafayette, Louisiana that reports on the Diocese of Lafayette press release: “Lafayette Diocese: Allegations against former priest Michael Guidry credible, formally apologizes to victim and family.

If a pastor, priest, rabbi, or other faith-based leader has sexually abused you or someone you love, please contact us today to schedule a confidential meeting. Because of our experience with these cases, we understand the need for sensitivity and compassion. We always respect our clients’ wishes if they prefer privacy and anonymity.

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