The new lawsuit names Msgr. William O’Hanlon for the first time publicly
O’Hanlon is Being Identified Now Thanks to a New Law Suspending the Statute of Limitations in Abuse Cases in Louisiana
Horowitz Law and The Bezou Law Firm have filed a new child sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit against the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana.
According to the Petition filed in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, the Plaintiff, identified as John RH Doe, was sexually abused by Msgr. William O’Hanlon, while O’Hanlon served as his parish priest at St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church. St. Theresa’s has also been identified as a defendant in the lawsuit. It is now located in the Diocese of Shreveport, which was created in 1986.
This is believed to be the first lawsuit naming O’Hanlon that was filed under a new law that temporarily eliminated the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases. In June 2021, Louisiana lawmakers joined states across the country by opening a three-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible for their abuse. The window remains open until 2024.
The sexual abuse in this case is alleged to have taken place between 1966 and 1968 approximately, beginning when the victim was approximately 6 or 7 years old.
Jessica Arbour, one of the Plaintiff’s attorneys at Horowitz Law, said, “Our client has waited a very long time for the opportunity to seek justice and accountability for those who harmed him when he was a vulnerable child in their care. Thanks to the dedication and action of Louisiana’s lawmakers, he finally has a chance to call those who hurt him to account and we are proud to stand with him today.”
John RH Doe v. Diocese of Alexandria, et al (case number: unassigned) is now pending in Nineteenth Judicial Circuit (East Baton Rouge) in Louisiana.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria 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 Alexandria 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.