At the end of his freshman year, Kevin Bourgeois was selected to be a member of the Vianney Singers, his prep school’s select choir. Bourgeois soon developed a close relationship with his choir director at the time, Priest Carl Davidson. The following year, Davison was transferred to another seminary, but Bourgeois stayed in contact with him. Bourgeois and two of his friends would visit Davidson, which eventually turned into Davidson inviting the boys to spend the night at his apartment in the seminary. The innocent casual visits filled with fast food and funny banter transformed into manipulative drunken evenings where Bourgeois found himself fleeing from the company of a child molester. It took years of feeling horror and shame before Bourgeois shared with his friends and family the sexual abuse he had sustained.
Bourgeois now resides in Louisiana, which has had its own share of sexual abuse scandals throughout the years. In April 2019, the Dioceses of Lafayette (Louisiana) released the names of 33 priests and 4 deacons who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. One of the names listed on the report was Michael Guidry. Guidry is a former St. Landry Parish priest who plead guilty in March 2019 for molesting a 16-year-old boy. He faced a maximum possible sentence of ten years in prison, but he was ultimately sentenced to seven years and three years of probation.
Guidry’s sentence, however, has already been slightly commuted. On April 24, 2020, Guidry was released on a $10,000 bond following a request by his attorney related to concerns regarding confinement in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the terms of his release, Guidry must remain in his home, and he must wear an ankle monitor at all times. He is only allowed to leave his home for medical appointments. Guidry is not allowed to contact the young man he molested or the man’s family. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals will later make a determination about Guidry’s sentencing if he abides by all of the terms of his release.
Survivors of sexual abuse, including Bourgeois, take issue—understandably so—with predators like Guidry being released. Bourgeois is now a volunteer leader of the Survivor Network of those Abused by Priests in New Orleans. He believes that Guidry’s release sends a message to survivors that their lives are not as important as the lives of the perpetrators who abused them. At the time of Guidry’s sentencing, the presiding judge stated that sexual abuse on children by priests is one thing in life that simply cannot be tolerated. Ironically, that same judge is the one who approved Guidry’s release on bail.
The family of the young man Guidry abused could not be reached for comment due to a gag order, but Bourgeois voiced his opinion about the case very loud and clear: If there is a priest behind bars, he should stay behind bars. The qualified attorneys at Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis, and Overholtz represent survivors of sexual abuse. Please contact us for more information.