A priest convicted of abusing an underage boy is being released from prison after serving only one year of his nearly decade-long sentence. On Monday, St. Landry Parish Judge Alonzo Harris granted Michael Guidry’s request to be out of prison on a $10,000 bond during his appeal to Louisiana’s appeals court.
In 2018 Guidry, the pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Morrow, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to giving alcohol and molesting… a parish altar boy and son of a Lafayette diocese deacon in 2015. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and three years’ probation in April 2019 but appealed the sentencing in June, asking for a reduced sentence.
So, to be clear, Guidry’s sentence hasn’t been rescinded and he hasn’t been paroled. He has been allowed to go home, where he can lounge about in comfort despite having to wear an ankle monitor.
Whether, at some point, he’ll have to serve the remaining six years in an actual prison is doubtful. I predict that he won’t, probably because of some combination of his age (77) and his having done such a marvelous job ministering to his spiritually hungry flock, or however the lawyers will phrase it.
This is what the priest went to prison for in the first place:
Guidry hired [the victim] in 2015 — when he was 16 years old — to do chores at his house where he would be given alcohol. It was there that Guidry “started hugging [him], rubbing his stomach and keeping his hand on [his] back.” Eventually, Guidry gave [the victim] “pure gin” until he passed out — eventually waking to find Guidry sexually assaulting him. Guidry apologized the next morning and attempted to call and text the victim despite being rebuffed.
This surely warrants more than a year in the slammer. Judge Harris, who just released Guidry, probably agrees, but reportedly let concerns about the coronavirus guide him. According to the Daily Advertiser, a local paper,
The request for Guidry’s release was made by his attorney because of the coronavirus pandemic…
… which couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Mysterious ways! Guidry was set free
… despite concerns from prosecutors… If he abides by his release conditions, he will be allowed to remain on house arrest until the Third Circuit Court of Appeals makes a decision about his sentencing.
What makes this case extra messed up are the responses from Guidry’s superiors after his abuse came to light. Via Church Militant:
[A] luncheon in honor of Fr. Guidry was held at the rectory upon his departure from the parish.
So Guidry is known to have drugged and sexually assaulted an underage teenager, and the Catholic Church cordially bids him adieu with a nice spread and a few warm pats on the back — in the same location where the crime took place, no less. (The diocese later apologized when the padres realized how bad that
And then there’s this:
The diocese agreed to pay for the victim’s counseling but the family launched a civil lawsuit in August 2018 after alleging a “high diocesan official” threatened therapy payments would stop if the family filed a lawsuit.
Remember, these people believe they are the earthly authority on how to live a moral life. It would be comical if it wasn’t so galling.