ACA.guidry.010.050119

Former priest Michael Guidry, right, arrives for his sentencing hearing Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas, La.

A former Lafayette Diocese priest who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a teenage altar boy is asking for a reduced sentence.

St. Landry Parish Judge Alonzo Harris on April 30 sentenced Michael Guidry to seven years in prison and three years of probation after Guidry, 76, pleaded guilty in June to abusing a 16-year-old boy. He faced a maximum of 10 years in jail.

Guidry verbally apologized at his sentencing hearing without directly addressing the victim or his family, who were in attendance. Guidry’s attorney, Kevin Stockstill, also asked Judge Harris to consider Guidry’s age and four letters of recommendation from the community.

Harris read portions of the letters aloud, but he concluded that “there are certain things in life we just can’t tolerate.”

“If you cannot trust a man of God for spiritual guidance, who can you trust?” Harris said, before delivering the sentence.

The victim, Oliver Peyton, claimed in a civil lawsuit that Guidry fed him alcohol on several occasions in 2015 as he performed chores at Guidry’s house, including one occasion he woke to Guidry molesting him.

The Advocate generally does not identify sexual assault victims. In this case, Peyton is identified in his civil lawsuit and his family members used his name in open court. Peyton’s father, Scott Peyton, has said the family decided to publicly identify themselves after Bishop Douglas Deshotel inadvertently outed them when announcing the allegations.

The abuse happened while Guidry was pastor at St. Peter’s Church in Morrow. Deshotel said in the announcement last year the accuser’s family had moved to a church in Ville Platte. Scott Peyton said it was common knowledge the family had switched to a Ville Platte church.

Harris is scheduled to consider the motion to reconsider Guidry’s sentence on July 18.

Follow Ben Myers on Twitter, @blevimyers.