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This blog is maintained by the Ruth Institute. It provides a place for our Circle of Experts to express themselves. This is where the scholars, experts, students and followers of the Ruth Institute engage in constructive dialogue about the issues surrounding the Sexual Revolution. We discuss public policy, social practices, legal doctrines and much more.
Published July 18, 2019 at The Daily Surge.
Daily Surge Summary: Fr. Michael Guidry, convicted of sexual assault, should not have his prison sentence reduced by any amount.
In April, Fr. Michael Guidry pleaded guilty in Opelousas, Louisiana, to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy. Guidry was sentenced to 7 years in prison, out of the ten-year maximum sentence.
Fr. Guidry has requested, and been granted, a hearing to reconsider his sentence. The hearing will take place on July 18 at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse in Opelousas. [Note: Updated information below].
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., President of the Ruth Institute, will attend the hearing. Dr. Morse is an outspoken critic of clergy sexual abuse and cover up. She is also a passionate advocate for the victims of the sexual revolution, including victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Morse believes the sentence should not be reconsidered. “The family and other victims had achieved some degree of closure and relief from the April 30th sentencing of Fr. Guidry. Going back into court undoes the sense of finality, and revictimizes those who have already been through so much,” Morse said.
Morse explained: “When I say ‘victims’ — plural — I include Oliver Peyton, the immediate victim, who woke up to find Fr. Guidry performing a sex act on him. I also include Oliver’s family and the members of the community, who were shocked and disheartened by the revelation that the abuser, a priest in his 70s, had betrayed their trust.”
“Lastly, I’m talking about the victims of child sex abuse everywhere who have been watching this case. Every new case, such as Fr. Guidry’s, can be a traumatic and ‘triggering’ event, especially for those who suffer PTSD symptoms. Every slap-on-the-wrist sentence revictimizes the victims. If the judge wishes to reconsider this sentence, I sincerely hope he will resentence Fr. Guidry to the 10-year maximum permitted by law. “
Morse noted: “No new facts have emerged. Fr Guidry is still as guilty as he was in April when Judge Harris originally sentenced him.”
She pledged, “I will drive from Lake Charles, LA, where I live, to say so in the presence of Oliver Peyton’s family, and anyone else who cares to listen. “
The Ruth Institute works to empower victims and survivors of the sexual revolution – including victims of divorce, abuse and the LGBT culture. In April, the Institute held the first-ever Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution in Lake Charles, Louisiana, where the Ruth Institute has its international headquarters.
Update! Shortly after sending this press release, we learned that the re-sentencing hearing for Fr. Michael Guidry has been postponed until September 19. We are appalled by this delay, which only prolongs the suffering of Guidry’s victims. We call for a speedy resolution of this issue: the maximum sentence allowable by law for Fr. Michael Guidry.