May 21, 2005

Local Tip Leads To Church Abuse Case


A call from a Central Ohio home led authorities near New Orleans to uncover what they think is a church cult that sexually abused children.

Three men, including a sheriff’s deputy, an ex-pastor and a former church worker have been arrested on rape charges as part of an investigation into an alleged child sex abuse ring that may have operated out of a church near Ponchatoula, Louisiana.

Investigators in the Tangipahoa Parish and Livingston Parish Sheriff’s office say the charges are deeply disturbing, including allegations that the children were taught to perform sex on each other and animals.

Louis Lamonica, 45, the former pastor at the Hosanna Church near Ponchatoula; 24-year-old Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Labat; and 36-year-old Austin Bernard, who allegedly worked in the Hosanna Church, were all arrested on rape charges.

Posted by kshaw at May 21, 2005 02:04 AM