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Priest admits sexual abuse of teens to WWL-TV

Asked if he did the specific sexual acts he laid out in a 1999 statement, Hecker twice said, “Yes,” and blamed the "sexual revolution."

By David Hammer / Eyewitness Investigator, Ramon Antonio Vargas The Guardian

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Published: 4:00 PM CDT August 22, 2023
Updated: 11:19 AM CDT September 7, 2023

For the first time ever, one of the New Orleans Catholic church’s most notorious clergy abusers has publicly admitted that he sexually molested or harassed several teenagers during his career, describing himself as remorseful yet unsure if he’s deserving of any criminal consequences.

Lawrence Hecker gave the rare admission when reporters for WWL-TV and the British newspaper the Guardian asked him to discuss a statement he gave to New Orleans church leaders in 1999. In the statement, he acknowledged committing “overtly sexual acts” with at least three underage boys in the late 1960s and 1970s and revealed his close relationships with four others stretching into the 1980s.

In recent years, Hecker has given various interviews and repeatedly denied touching children inappropriately. But the Guardian obtained a copy of the 24-year-old statement Hecker gave to church leaders, which prompted the questions posed to Hecker in this latest interview.

Asked if he did the specific sexual acts he laid out in the statement, Hecker twice said, “Yes,” while being recorded on video. He also claimed that society was more permissive of such behavior at the time, even though Louisiana’s age of consent to have sex in the 1960s and ‘70s was the same then as it is now.

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