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Court date set in priest child-porn case

Ken Stickney, The Daily Advertiser - ST. MARTIN PARISH (The Daily Advertiser) - The Rev. F. David Broussard will enter a plea to child pornography charges at a 9 a.m. May 2 arraignment in District Court in St. Martin Parish.

Robert Chevalier, assistant district attorney in the 16th District Attorney's Office, confirmed the court date Tuesday.

Broussard remains free on $25,000 bond. Chevalier said he was confident the priest, who is on administrative leave from the Diocese of Lafayette, would appear in court.

Under the conditions of his bond, Broussard was forbidden to use or possess a computer.

Broussard, 50, was arrested in July, charged with 500 counts of possession of child pornography. He had been pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Breaux Bridge for two years at the time of his arrest and a priest for more than 20 years.

Investigators said Broussard had been seeking and accessing illegal, pornographic images of children for about two years on his computer.

Bishop Douglas Deshotel immediately placed Broussard on administrative leave from his priestly duties.

Blue Rolfes, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Lafayette, said Tuesday that Broussard remained on administrative leave this week. She said his status meant he had no involvement with priestly work, was not offering Mass and was not associated with any parish.

Broussard was accused of possessing 500 images of male and female children, some as young as infants and some involved in sexual activity, the arrest affidavit said. The images were stored on his personal computer, which he routinely kept at the priest's residence at St. Bernard Catholic Church.

The images were found on the computer by a technician at a repair shop, who was bound to report illegal activity. The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office began investigating Broussard on July 15.

Days after Broussard's arrest, Dehotel celebrated Mass at St. Bernard's and told parishioners that in his visit with him, the priest had extended apologies to his church and diocese for his actions.

Chevalier declined to discuss specifics of the case.


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