Louisiana Lawmakers Paved Way for Civil Claims; Now Let’s See Criminal Investigations

| Jul 16, 2021 | Catholic Church

We at Horowitz Law are experienced in getting justice for people who are sexually abused. That’s done in the civil realm, in which those who commit and conceal child sex crimes are EXPOSED, largely through civil lawsuits.

We’re civil attorneys. This is what we do.

We are not – however, experts in the criminal realm. That’s the realm in which those who commit and conceal child sex crimes are CONVICTED AND IMPRISONED, largely through criminal prosecution and involves police, prosecutors and attorneys general.

We’re NOT criminal attorneys.

So we’re generally reluctant to tell criminal law experts what they should be doing.

But not when it comes to abuse and cover ups in Catholic institutions. Given the long, scandalous, devastating and still-on-going horrendous child sex crimes – and the enabling of those crimes by a church hierarchy that refuses to enact real reform – the duty of U.S. law enforcement is clear: At the very least, thoroughly investigate this institution.

Sadly, however, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has “repeatedly resisted calls to launch a statewide investigation in Louisiana into Catholic Church sexual abuse, even as many other states with large Catholic populations have done so,” according to one news source.

Landry has claimed, unlike other states’ attorneys general, he does not have the authority to launch such a probe.


We’re reminded of two old adages, both of which contain some wisdom.

The first is “There are many ways to skin a cat.”

And the second is “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

No one denies that state laws vary. So some AG’s have powers that other AG’s lack.

But no one knows better than lawyers that the law is complex and constantly evolving. So it defies belief that Landry is completely powerless to do anything about the recurring crisis of abuse and over up in such a heavily Catholic state.

And if he truly lacks authority to do what his colleagues elsewhere are doing, why isn’t he pounding the pavement in Baton Rouge, pushing lawmakers to give him that authority?

There is, however, some good news for people who care about kids in Louisiana. And for people who were hurt as kids in Louisiana.

It’s been a month now since Louisiana lawmakers formally passed a civil ‘window.’ It’s a measure that enables more civil lawsuits against child molesters and those who ignore or enable them.

This law does nothing about Landry’s inaction. But it does take the shackles off of survivors of abuse in the state who have previously been preventing from filing lawsuits.

It enables those with the most evidence and incentives, victims themselves, to shine a light on criminals.

That light will make a difference for those at risk of being assaulted in Louisiana AND for those who’ve already been assaulted in Louisiana.

Please spread the word about this opportunity for justice, healing and prevention to anyone you know who lives or lived in Louisiana.