D.A.'s Office Officially Drops Charges Against Port Barre Priest UPDATE - KLFY News 10

October 18, 2006

D.A.'s Office Officially Drops Charges Against Port Barre Priest UPDATE

Father Nicky Trahan Father Nicky Trahan
Ramona Speyrer Ramona Speyrer

Charges against the Port Barre priest accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his congregation have been officially dropped.

That's according to St. Landry Parish district attorney, Earl Taylor.

In a statement released Wednesday by Taylor's office, it says prosecutors have officially dropped charges against Father Charles Nicholas Trahan.

Trahan was arrested a week and a half ago by Port Barre police and charged with theft of $56,000 from the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

Following his arrest, Port Barre police said, the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette refused to cooperate with the investigation, forcing investigators to close the case.

Bishop Michael Jarrell denies that accusation.

And, the district attorney is taking the side of the diocese.

In Wednesday's statement, the D.A. states:

The diocese initiated and cooperated with the investigation and the record contains no evidence of it or any of it's employees obstructing or impeding that investigation.

The release goes on to state that the diocese employees who were involved in the initial investigation gave video-taped statements, as well as written and oral statements.

While the charges against Father Trahan have been dropped, charges against the church's former secretary stand.

Ramona Speyrer faces a total of 84 counts of theft.

The D.A.'s office would not comment on that case.

We'll continue to follow this story and bring you the latest, as information becomes available.

Katherine Whaley, TV 10 Eyewitness News

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