All 9 judges on appeals court recuse themselves from Louisiana church sex abuse case
Published 6:17 am Thursday, December 17, 2020
All nine judges in Louisiana’s Second Circuit Court of Appeal have recused themselves from a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport and a late priest.
Following the full court recusal, the Louisiana State Supreme Court reassigned the case to the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans, attorneys for the plaintiff stated Wednesday.
The lawsuit filed against the diocese alleges a plaintiff, a former altar boy, was sexually abused by the late Father William Allison and another man who lived in a church rectory on separate occasions in the 1970s, the Shreveport Times reported. Allison died in 1986.
The team of attorneys said the judges recused themselves “because of an apparent conflict with each and every judge,” but added that they didn’t know the reasons.
“As an initial conclusion, it appears that (victim-survivors) of clergy sexual abuse cannot get an impartial hearing before the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal,” a statement from the attorneys said.
The lawsuit contends that Allison groomed the child, who was a fifth- or sixth-grade student serving as an altar boy at Our Lady of Fatima in Monroe. Doe was forced to perform sex acts on the priest, the lawsuit said.
In July, The Shreveport Times reported that it contacted the diocese for comment on the lawsuit but never received one from the Diocese’s Communications and Public Relations Director, Mark Willcox. Willcox said at the time that he was working on preparing a response, the newspaper said.