SLIDELL, La. — Prosecutors on Thursday formally charged a former Slidell priest of molesting a teenager in 2014.
District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s Office said 63-year-old Patrick Brian Wattigny is accused of molesting a 15-year-old between June 1, 2013, and August 31, 2014.
Wattigny is the former pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church and chaplain at Pope John Paul II High School, both in Slidell.
Wattigny was arrested in October after the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office alleged he started grooming the alleged victim when the boy was 15. It began with a conversation that led to telephone calls, text messages, and then private visits, investigators said.
New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond removed Wattigny from public ministry shortly after the priest allegedly admitted the abuse on Oct. 1. Church officials notified St. Tammany law enforcement, setting the stage for his eventual arrest.