Thirty-three priests and four deacons were identified Friday by the Diocese of Lafayette as having been credibly accused of abuse.

Twenty-two are deceased. One, David Broussard, is in jail. Another, Michael Guidry, is awaiting sentencing.

The names of 16 priests on a list previously compiled by The Advocate appear on the list of priests released by the Diocese of Lafayette Friday.

Three people on The Advocate's list are not on the diocese's list: Gil Dutel, Kenneth Morvant and Joseph Pelletieri.

Dutel, who is pastor at St. Edmond Church in Lafayette and served at Sacred Heart of Jesus in Ville Platte, was accused of coercing a young boy to have sex over a five- to six-year period beginning in 1976, according to a 1992 10-page statement made by the victim, who was not identified. That statement came to light in 2014 following a Minnesota Public Radio investigation and a public records request by local news media.

Anthony Fontana, an Abbeville attorney who represented many sexual abuse victims in lawsuits against the diocese, said in those documents that Bishop Joseph Flynn told him Dutel had been treated and “cured.” But Bishop Michael Jarrell later said Dutel was not treated for pedophilia. When allegations against Dutel surfaced in the local news in 2014, Dutel said he was innocent and diocesan officials told The Advocate they could not find an investigation that allegedly cleared Dutel of the allegations.

Morvant, who died in 2003, was accused after his death. Eleven victims claim in a pending lawsuit filed in 2018 that Morvant used alcohol to take advantage of them in the 1970s. Morvant served at churches in Lafayette, St. Martinville, Eunice, Rayne, Coteau and Breaux Bridge.

Why Pelletieri is not on the Lafayette list is perplexing since his name appeared on the list released by the Archdiocese of New Orleans because he served at the Ave Maria Retreat House in Jefferson Parish.

Pelletieri served at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and Notre Dame High School in Crowley. He was accused around 2002-2003 of using hypnosis to sexually abuse an adolescent boy in the 1960s while at Notre Dame. A civil lawsuit was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

Thirteen names on the diocese list don't appear to have been previously reported in the news media and The Advocate found 17 clergy reported in local news media or lawsuits who served in the diocese or were in some way connected to the area who did not appear on the Diocese of Lafayette list released Friday.

The Advocate has submitted questions to the diocese regarding discrepancies in reporting.


Follow Claire Taylor on Twitter, @ClaireTaylorACA