Father Ronald Fontenot
Diocese of Lafayette
Removed from ministry: 1984
Assigned as follows:
- 1976-1977: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (New Iberia, LA)
- 1977-1979: Our Lady of Mercy (Opelousas, LA)
- 1979-1980: Sacred Heart Church (Baldwin, LA)
- 1982-1984: Diocese of Lafayette with responsibilities at Our Lady of Fatima (Lafayette, LA)
- 1984: House of Affirmation (Spokane, WA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Ronald Fontenot:
Fr. Ronald Fontenot was ordained a priest in 1975, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Lafayette. According to media reports, he is accused of molesting at least 13 boys while he was assigned to the diocese. Fr. Fontenot was first accused of sexual abuse in 1984. This allegation resulted in Fontenot’s suspension and psychological treatment. The Diocese of Lafayette paid more than $1,000,000 in settlements to Fontenot’s accusers.
After suspending Fr. Fontenot, the Diocese of Lafayette arranged for him to stay at the House of Affirmation in Spokane, WA, which is a treatment center for clergy with substance abuse problems and other issues. Fontenot also spent time at treatment centers in Massachusetts and Bossier City, LA.
In 1985, Fr. Fontenot returned to Spokane where he worked as a counselor at the Nancy Reagan Care Unit, which is a substance abuse center for teenagers. In 1986 he was sentenced to a year in jail and two years of treatment at the Servants of Paraclete in Jemez Spring, NM after pleading guilty to one count of statutory rape involving a 15-year-old boy and four misdemeanor counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. In addition, six civil suits were filed against Fr. Fontenot in Spokane in 1986. The suits were settled in 1989.
After Fr. Fontenot was released from prison, he worked as a counselor in Albuquerque, NM where he was accused of molesting a male patient who was under his care.
Fr. Fontenot was publicly named in April of 2019 on the Diocese of Lafayette’s disclosure list of “diocesan clergy against whom credible allegations have been made regarding sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult.”
Fr. Fontenot moved to Houston, TX where he lived under the name “Jean-Paul Fontenot” until his death in 2014.
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