A former Catholic priest in Louisiana who preyed on 17 males who had been intoxicated or wanted lend a hand, drugging and photographing them — and sexually assaulting a minimum of a dozen of them — used to be sentenced on Friday to twenty-five years in jail.
Pass judgement on Shayna Beevers Morvant of the twenty fourth Judicial District Court docket passed down the sentence to the previous priest, Stephen Sauer, 61, after he pleaded accountable on Friday to 13 counts of sexual battery, 9 counts of third-degree rape, 17 counts of video voyeurism and 16 misdemeanor fees of drug ownership, consistent with a information free up from the district legal professional for Jefferson Parish, which is in southeastern Louisiana and a part of the better New Orleans house. The pass judgement on additionally ordered Mr. Sauer to sign in as a intercourse perpetrator and barred him from contacting 12 of the sufferers for existence.
Over a duration of 2 years starting within the fall of 2019, prosecutors stated, Mr. Sauer preyed on ratings of fellows in more than a few states of misery and vulnerability within the French Quarter of New Orleans, an area frequented by way of vacationers and recognized for its nightlife. In some circumstances, he would drug their beverages or give them “sleep-inducing ingredients,” prosecutors stated.
Pretending to provide them help, he would deliver them again to his house in Metairie, L. a.., the biggest town in Jefferson Parish, prosecutors stated. He then photographed or videotaped them and sexually assaulted a few of them, consistent with prosecutors. Mr. Sauer would frequently percentage footage of the sufferers on-line and in e mail correspondences with others, the district legal professional’s place of job added.
Lots of the sufferers had been visiting from out of state, misplaced or separated from pals.
Some of the medication Mr. Sauer used to incapacitate sufferers used to be Zolpidem, a narcotic for treating insomnia that has additionally been used as a date rape drug, prosecutors stated. One of the most sufferers had been recognized as a result of investigators discovered motive force’s licenses and different identity amongst footage that Mr. Sauer had taken.
Detectives estimated there may well be greater than 50 further sufferers who had no longer been recognized.
A legal professional for Mr. Sauer didn’t straight away reply to a request for touch upon Monday.
The Jefferson Parish District Lawyer’s place of job declined to remark at the case.
Prior to his arrest in 2021, Mr. Sauer’s LinkedIn profile confirmed he were the chief director of Arc of Larger New Orleans, a nonprofit group devoted to bettering the lives of other folks with disabilities. Prior to that, he labored as a college member on the College of San Francisco, a non-public Jesuit college. He additionally spent 4 years as a pastor at a Roman Catholic church in New Orleans.
The Arc of Larger New Orleans didn’t straight away reply to a request for touch upon Monday. The church the place Mr. Sauer had served as a pastor declined to remark.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Place of work started investigating Mr. Sauer in June 2021 after he despatched his pc to an electronics retailer to be fastened.
“He despatched a troublesome pressure off for restore to a spot in New York,” stated Jason Rivarde, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Place of work. “And there used to be some stuff came upon on that arduous pressure that resulted in the investigation.”
A technician on the retailer discovered masses of footage on Mr. Sauer’s laborious pressure of the sufferers that urged that that they had been sexually assaulted, the district legal professional’s place of job stated. Legislation enforcement officials in New York alerted the government in Louisiana, which started an investigation. Mr. Sauer used to be arrested in December 2021, Mr. Rivarde stated.