On Nov. 8, 2017, the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge received from a woman in her thirties a written allegation of sexual misconduct against a priest of this diocese, Father Eric Gyan, currently pastor of St. Theresa of Avila Church in Gonzales. The alleged misconduct was said to have occurred in 1996 when the woman was a minor and Father Gyan was pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Brusly. This is the only such complaint the diocese has ever received about Father Gyan.

The diocese’s victim assistance coordinator, Amy Cordon, spoke with the person making the allegation and offered assistance on behalf of the diocese.

Following the diocese’s own Policy Regarding Sexual Abuse of Minors by an Employee* when an allegation is made, and in compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People**, the diocese immediately notified appropriate civil officials of the allegation and assured them of its full cooperation. The diocese also informed the person who made the allegation that she herself had the right to contact civil officials.

As required by canon law and those policies, trained professional lay persons were appointed by the diocese to conduct an immediate inquiry into the matter. In addition, the Independent Review Board of the diocese was notified. The investigation continued with extensive interviews, a public appeal for information, and consultations with experts. The Independent Review Board received the investigative report and concurred with the findings that the allegation against Father Gyan could not be substantiated.

This process found no reason to remove Father Gyan from ministry at any time. Frather Gyan has consistently cooperated in the investigation and has categorically denied the allegation. Bishop Robert W. Muench has now accepted the findings and recommendations presented to him. Father Gyan continues to serve as a priest in good standing and of good reputation.