Acadiana attorney reacts to list of accused clergy released

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An Acadiana attorney involved in the first abuse case in Acadiana, shed light on the nationwide scandal.

Tonight, he’s voicing his frustration over how long it took for the list of accused clergy to finally be released.

Anthony J. Fontana Jr., an attorney in Abbeville, says he’s been dealing with sexual abuse by Catholic clergy for over 30 years.

Now, he says there needs to be an investigation into those priests who’ve been accused.

“These guys are molesting young children and ruining their lives forever and we’re not going to go after them? It’s time that it stops,” explained Fontana.

Now that the Diocese of Lafayette has released the list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse, Fontana says he isn’t sure that this is their full list.

“When I met with about 35 men between the ages of 37 and 65 for the last two months who told me stories that broke my heart,” added Fontana. “We cried together.”

According to Fontana, with all the priests that have committed crimes against children, only four from Louisiana have been sent to jail.

News 10 asked, “Only four of the accused priests, if you will, went to jail… why not the others?

Fontana answered, “That’s the big question. That’s what the media is going to have to find out. Some of them are dead, but some of them are still out there alive and no district attorney has taken any action about this.”

Fontana says in order to stop these crimes, district attorney’s will have to play a big role.

“If people knew what I know, if Catholics knew what I know, I don’t think they would put any money in the baskets anymore, and if they didn’t put any money in the baskets it would be over.”

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