July 12, 2023

Former Slidell Priest Pleads Guilty as Charged to Two Counts of Molestation of Juveniles and is Sentenced

            COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, former Slidell priest, Patrick Brian Wattigny, pled guilty as charged to 2 counts of molestation of a juvenile by virtue of a position of control or supervision over the juvenile. He was sentenced by District Judge John Keller to 15 years in prison on each count, to run concurrently, with 10 of the years suspended. The Judge also sentenced Wattigny to an additional five years of probation, sex offender registration and notification, and a “no contact” order with respect to the victims.  

The D.A.’s Office did not agree to any concessions; the Court had the sole discretion in sentencing.

Wattigny, 55, a former pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church and chaplain at Pope John Paul II High School, both in Slidell had been charged in 2020, when a victim came forward to report that when he was 15, he was molested by Wattigny. A second victim came forward in 2022 and reported that when he was a 9-year-old student he was also molested by Wattigny.

At the sentencing, one of the victims read his impact statement. He said, that “Father Pat” began “grooming him” at an early age and following the molestation, was told that he’d “go to hell” if he told anyone. He said that his “childhood was stolen” and that he had “contemplated suicide.”  The victim watched, as the former priest was handcuffed and fingerprinted.

Assistant District Attorney Blake Peters prosecuted the case.