After years of denial, a notorious former New Orleans church leader admitted in an interview that he sexually molested or harassed several teenagers during his career.
CBS affiliate WWL-TV in New Orleans was interviewing Lawrence Hecker with the British newspaper the Guardian about a statement he gave to New Orleans church leaders in 1999 when he made the confession.
Hecker, 91, became an ordained priest in 1958. According to a timeline compiled by WWL-TV, he used that position to abuse or harass minors over years.
In 1988, reports of his actions reached New Orleans archbishop Philip Hannan. Hecker convinced Hannan he would never again “be in any such circumstances” and faced no consequences until 1999, when continued reports against Hecker led the archdiocese to send him to a psychiatric treatment facility outside of Louisiana. There, he was diagnosed as a pedophile, and the facility recommended he be prohibited from working with minors or other “particularly vulnerable people,” according to a personnel file reviewed by WWL-TV.
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