A catechism teacher at Saint John Bosco Catholic Church in Harvey was arrested on Thursday for allegedly showing his fourth-grade students a naked picture after promising to show one of himself dressed as Santa Claus, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Daryle Rodriguez, 71, was booked on a count of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
A young girl from his class told her mother that Rodriguez had shown her a naked picture of a man, and the woman went to her church pastor, who turned her concerns over to the police.
Rodriguez allegedly acknowledged having a picture of a naked man on his phone, but told investigators that he had only inadvertently shown it to students.
Rodriguez said that “he covered the photo up and deleted the photo from his phone after class,” according to an arrest report written by JPSO Detective Nick Vega.
At that point, Vega wrote, Rodriguez was arrested and booked. He remains in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Rodriguez is not listed in the state sex offender registry. His attorney, William Dunn, declined to comment.
Pastor Larry Urban wrote that Rodriguez was a volunteer fourth-grade catechism teacher who had undergone background checks, according to a letter that an archdiocese spokesperson said would be sent to parents of students in his class this week.
“Though the action did not involve physical contact, it was inappropriate and required police investigation,” wrote Urban. “Please keep all involved in this unfortunate situation in your prayers, and know that you all remain in mine.”
Editor’s Note: This story was altered on Tuesday to reflect that Rodriguez showed students a naked picture, rather than a picture in which he was dressed as Santa Claus.