Former Priest Sentenced to 25 Years after Pleading Guilty to Drugging, Molesting 17 Men

A former Catholic priest in Louisiana has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to drugging and molesting 17 men he had met in New Orleans’ French Quarter, according to prosecutors.

Stephen Sauer, 61, admitted to targeting men who appeared to be “intoxicated, lost or in need of assistance,” according to a news release from the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office. He would then offer to help the men, but instead drugged them and drove the unconscious victims to his home in Metairie, roughly 7 miles west of the district, prosecutors said.

Sauer pleaded guilty to 13 counts of sexual battery, nine counts of third-degree rape, 17 counts of video voyeurism, as well as 16 misdemeanor charges of drug possession, court records show. On Friday, District Judge Shayna Beevers Morvant sentenced Sauer to a total of 25 years in prison and ordered him to be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life, the DA’s office said.

Many of the victims were visiting New Orleans from out of state and were “separated from friends or simply lost” when they were approached by Sauer, according to the news release. Sauer took photographs of his victims’ identification cards, which allowed detectives to identify some of the victims, the news release said.

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