Fr. Patrick Wattigny
Archdiocese of New Orleans
- 1994-2000: St. Peter Catholic Church (Covington, LA)
- 2000: Visitation of Our Lady (Marrero, LA) and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Kenner, LA)
- 2000-2013: St. Benilde Parish and Archbishop Rummel High School (Metairie, LA)
- 2013-2020: John Paul II High School, Chaplain (Slidell, LA)
- 2013-2020: St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church, Pastor (Slidell, LA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Patrick Wattigny:
Father Patrick Wattigny was a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. He worked in several parishes in and around New Orleans; in fact, the archdiocese moved him seven times in 26 years. On October 25, 2022, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Fr. Patrick Wattigny for the second time after another report was made in August by a male, claiming Wattigny sexually abused him when he was an elementary student at a Covington-area Catholic school. An arrest warrant was issued for Wattigny, and he was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center for one count of molestation of a juvenile.
This is Father Patrick Wattigny’s Second Arrest
In 2020, Patrick Wattigny was arrested and charged with molesting a 15-year-old boy from St. Tammany Parish in 2013. The boy attended the school at St. Tammany, and Wattigny was the chaplain. Wattigny allegedly admitted the abuse to the New Orleans Archdiocese, according to a news story broken by WWL-TV and The Times-Picayune. As Wattigny was awaiting a jury trial in that case, he was criminally charged in another molestation case in October 2022. That victim had reported that Wattigny abused him when he was a student at a Covington-area Catholic school. Wattigny was arrested by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and booked with another count of juvenile molestation.
Wattigny initially pleaded not guilty in both criminal cases. On June 11, 2023, 55-year-old Wattigny changed his pleas to guilty in two separate child molestation cases and was sentenced to five years in prison plus five years’ probation. Wattigny must also register as a sex offender. In a victim statement in court, one of Wattigny’s victims stated that “My childhood was stolen.”
After the Archdiocese ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation and attend a 30-day retreat, Wattigny allegedly disclosed to the Archdiocese on Oct. 1, 2020, that he had abused a different boy beginning in 2013. The Archdiocese contacted law enforcement, and an investigation was launched that resulted in Wattigny’s arrest at a home he owns in Georgia about three weeks later.
Wattigny was permanently removed from ministry in 2020. At the time of Wattigny’s removal from ministry, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond wrote in a statement: “Reverend Patrick Wattigny disclosed today his sexual abuse of a minor in 2013. His name will be added to the list of the Archdiocese of New Orleans Clergy Abuse Report. Law enforcement has been notified.”
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020. Our lawyers offer free, confidential consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese.
Very strict filing deadlines will soon be set by the Bankruptcy Court. Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline; please contact our law firm at 888-283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at [email protected] for a free consultation.