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Retired Catholic priest indicted on 4 charges including rape, kidnapping

The accuser recalls that Hecker approached him under the guise of showing him a wrestling move, choked him unconscious and “sodomized” him, his attorney said.

By David Hammer / Eyewitness Investigator

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Published: 2:30 PM CDT September 7, 2023
Updated: 6:17 PM CDT September 7, 2023

A retired Catholic priest from New Orleans who years ago secretly admitted to church leaders that he sexually molested or harassed numerous children is now at last facing criminal charges.

State prosecutors in New Orleans obtained an indictment charging Lawrence Hecker, 91, on Thursday with aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, a count of aggravated crime against nature and a count of theft.  

The crimes allegedly occurred at the now-shuttered St John Vianney prep school – adjacent to St. Theresa the Little Flower of the Child Jesus church – where Hecker worked in 1975, when the accuser was either a 15- or 16-year-old child, according to the alleged victim’s civil attorney, Richard Trahant.

In Louisiana, statutes of limitation do not prevent authorities from pursuing long-ago allegations of child rape.

Hecker told WWL-TV on Thursday that he had no comment on the charges filed against him. New Orleans’s district attorney, Jason Williams, said at a press conference focused on the case against Hecker: “The fact that a child went to [his school] and told them what happened and nothing happened is a sin and a shame.

“We’re going to do everything we can in our power … many years after this prosecution should have been brought to try to find some sense of closure for this victim.”

In Louisiana, statutes of limitation do not prevent authorities from pursuing historical allegations of rape.

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