Father Robert Melancon
Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
- 1974-1984: St. Genevieve Church (Thibodaux, LA)
- 1985-1991: Annunziata (Houma, LA)
- 1993-1995: Sacred Heart Church (Cut Off, LA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Melancon
In January 2019, the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux publicly named Fr. Robert Melancon on its list of priests who admitted to, or were convicted of, sexual misconduct with children. According to the list, Fr. Melancon was convicted of raping an 8-year-old altar boy and was sentenced to life in prison.
1996 Trial and Conviction
In 1996, a 17-year-old boy went to Houma police, and informed them Fr. Robert Melancon had sexually abused him from 1985 to 1991. According to reports, Fr. Melancon started “fondling and kissing” the victim in the rectory when the victim was approximately seven years old.
Nearly two years later, the nature and frequency of the abuse reportedly began to intensify. At trial, the victim testified that Fr. Melancon raped him after weddings, baptisms, and funerals. The abuse lasted for years until Fr. Melancon transferred to the Sacred Heart Church in Cutoff.
In less than two hours, the jury convicted Fr. Melancon, and court officials carried him to prison to begin his life sentence.
Previous Instances of Abuse
Not only did Fr. Robert Melancon’s trial result in his conviction, it also brought an increased awareness to the priest’s sexual history with minors. During the trial, Fr. Melancon admitted he was an active pedophile and had groomed a 12-year-old boy a decade prior.
Evidence was also introduced that another man came forward in 1993, claiming Fr. Melancon raped him when he was a teenager and that the abuse continued into the man’s 20s. The diocese reportedly settled with the man for $30,000.
Fr. Robert Melancon’s Career and Whereabouts
Ordained in 1962, Fr. Robert Melancon spent nearly 34 years in ministry before his conviction and subsequent removal in 1997.
Fr. Robert Melancon died in November 2018.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux may now have legal options but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana and nationwide. We can help.