Accusation Surfaces Against Former Wisdom Leadership Team Member
(NOTE: THE ACCUSATION IN THIS STORY IS NOT ABOUT THE MAN IN THE PHOTO) A photo recently went viral on Reddit featuring a reproductive rights march organizer and an Our Lady of Wisdom church member.
Most of the comments on the post either chided the man for getting into the woman's space or defended the man because "the woman must have done something wrong".
As we now know, according to witnesses, the woman was within her rights to be standing where she was and the man allegedly invade her personal space.
In the comments section under the post of that photo on Reddit, a former member of Our Lady of Wisdom Church on UL's campus makes an allegation against a former leadership team member of that church (for clarity, these allegations are against a FORMER Wisdom team member, NOT the man in the photo).
Now, to be clear, the individual she is accusing of a crime (NOT the man in the photo above) was not a member of the clergy nor employed by the Diocese, to our knowledge.
According to comments by Msparamedic, she was a congregant of Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church on UL's campus when she was in college.
What is her allegation against a former member of their leadership team? She alleges that he raped her.
Msparamedic claims that she reported the rape to the staff at Our Lady of Wisdom Church, and she claims that, instead of investigating the allegations, they blamed her for the rape.
“You invited him into your house with ill intent. You were making out. You consented to the premarital foreplay”
She claims that she told the staff that she DID invite him in and there was some kissing/groping, but she claims she said "No" to further advances. According to Msparamedic, he did not take no for an answer.
When she went to staff members at Our Lady of Wisdom, Msparamedic, in her comment, claims that she felt that she was shamed by the staff and, though she had a full ride at UL, eventually dropped out because of the incident.
I was too ashamed to even finish college at UL… I dropped out despite having a full scholarship (TOPS and several other scholarship awards for journalism) and instead became a medic.
She also claims that when she went to the Lafayette Police Department, she feels that the department did nothing because of the accused rapist's connections, as he was a criminal justice major.
I was too ashamed that when I went to Lafayette PD, they knew the guy as well because he was a criminal justice major and NOTHING happened.
So out of shame and, I'm sure, a feeling of helplessness, she dropped out of college and became a paramedic.
Msparamedic claims that the man who raped her went on to become a probation officer who was eventually arrested on other sex charges, and now she blames herself for giving up on having him arrested.
So I left the church and dropped out of school and stopped telling people what happened and blamed myself for years and years.
The man went on to become a Juvenile Probation Officer. And in 2021 that man was arrested for possession of child p*rn and indecency with a juvenile. And again I spiralled because I felt I should have fought harder to get him convicted in 2006 when this happened.
How is Msparamedic now? According to her, she is "ok" thanks to professional help.
I’m ok now, I have an amazing therapist. But Wisdom better chill with the harassment.
MsParamedic's comment sparked sympathy from some Redditors and anger from others.
I am hoping that these comments are helping Msparamedic cope with her trauma and, if she feels she needs it, she continues to get professional help.
One Redditor pointed out how some institutions allow molehills to become mountains due to inaction.
Of course, this isn't the first time a religious institution has come under fire for not reporting allegations to civil authorities and trying to sweep things under the rug.
Case in point: the Diocese of New Orleans is now under federal investigation for claims of sexual assault. One Redditor suggests that Msparamedic contact the FBI with her claims.
Acadiana is no stranger to allegations of sexual abuse in major religious institutions. The Bishop Accountability website lists allegations against priests, deacons, nuns, brothers, and seminarians from around the world, including 217 individuals in Louisiana alone.
In the Diocese of Lafayette alone, there are 51 clergy members who are accused of some sort of sex crime.
We hope that Msparamedic can find peace and, if it is in the cards, justice.
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