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New child sexual abuse, coverup lawsuit filed against Diocese of Alexandria

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Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 9:07 AM CST
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The following information has been provided by Horowitz Law:

Horowitz Law and The Bezou Law Firm announce the filing of a new child sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit against the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana.

According to the Petition for Damages, the Plaintiff, identified as John RH Doe, was sexually abused by Msgr. William O’Hanlon, while O’Hanlon served as his parish priest at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church in Shreveport. St. Theresa’s has also been named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

St. Theresa’s is now believed to be a part of the Diocese of Shreveport, which was created in 1986. At the time of the abuse it was still operated by the Diocese of Alexandria.

This is believed to be the first lawsuit naming O’Hanlon filed under a new law that temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases. In June 2021, Louisiana lawmakers joined states across the country by opening a three-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible for their abuse. The window remains open until 2024.

According to the lawsuit papers, the sexual abuse by O’Hanlon took place between approximately 1966 and 1968, beginning when the victim was about 6 or 7 years old.

Jessica Arbour, one of the Plaintiff’s attorneys, said, “Our client has waited a very long time for the opportunity to seek justice and accountability for those responsible for him when he was a vulnerable child in their care. Thanks to the dedication and action of Louisiana’s lawmakers, he finally has a chance to seek justice in a court of law.”

The Plaintiff is now 61 years old and resides in the Shreveport area.

John R.H. Doe v. Diocese of Alexandria, et al  (case number: C-716365) is now pending in Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in Louisiana.

For more information, including a copy of the Petition for Damages, contact Jessica Arbour, Esq. (jessica@adamhorowitzlaw.com) or (305) 318-5444 (c).

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