What is Child Sexual Abuse?

Legal Definition of Child Sexual Abuse, as defined by the Louisiana Children's Code on Child Sexual Abuse, is the involvement of the child in any sexual act with a parent or any other person, or the aiding or toleration by the parent or the caretaker of the child's sexual involvement with any other person or of the child's involvement in pornographic displays, or any other involvement of a child in sexual activity constituting a crime under the laws of the state.

Caretaker is any person legally obligated to provide or secure adequate care for a child. This includes parent, guardian, legal custodian, foster parent, employee of public or private day care, or any other person providing a residence for the child. Child is any person under age eighteen (18) who has not been emancipated either judicially or by marriage.

The Louisiana Children's Code, established in 1992, provides definitions of child abuse and neglect and contains laws pertaining to child abuse and neglect reports and investigations. The Louisiana Children's Code can be accessed at www.pcal.org, or at the state library

Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
Behaviors and Physical Signs:
sudden school difficulties 
pain or itch in genital area
poor self esteem  
lack of involvement 
lack of emotional control                
peer problems
frequent urination
lack of confidence
chronic depression
venereal disease
bruises or bleeding in external genitalia
suicide attempts (especially adolescents)
threatened by physical contact or closeness
inappropriate sex play or premature understanding of sex

Predatory Behavior:
  • The predator begins by spending time building trust with the child.  Once the "friendship" is gained,  the abuser tells the child that he/she would never do anything to harm the child
  • The predator breaks down the child's guard against inappropriate touching and sexual conduct
  • Threatens on occasion the victim and/or his/her family with harm
  • Engages the child in progressive discussions regarding sexual issues
  • Seeks out potential victims with family problems, poor peer relationships, estrangement from parents"
  • Seeks out potential victims who will keep secrets
  • Gains trust of parents and gains access to the family environment
  • Invites a potential victim on overnights, gives gifts, or focuses on the interests of potential victims
  • Prefers children as social companions rather than adult peers of his/her own age group
  • Actions to keep children and young people safe
  • Open the lines of communication...keep them open...between you and your children
  • Talk with your children and/or other children in your care about predatory lures
  • Teach them to tell you about any scary or improper behavior that they encounter with others
  • Attend child abuse prevention education sessions offered by the diocese or your parish/school
  • Learn all that you can about child sexual abuse.
Keeping Our Children and Youth Safe

The Diocese of Lake Charles recognizes the God-given dignity of every human being and condemns all forms of abuse or neglect of people of all ages. In regard specifically to minors, it is the policy of the Diocese of Lake Charles that abuse or neglect of minors is totally reprehensible and intolerable behavior. Any such conduct is to be considered, by its very nature completely contrary to Christian morality and therefore is contrary to the duties and employment of all personnel serving with the Diocese and cannot be justified.


Diocesan Policy 703, Article IV:

Any personnel who has actual knowledge of, or who has reasonable cause to suspect that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor has occurred (unless to do so would violate the priest/penitent relationship of the Sacrament of Penance), must follow all applicable laws for reporting and immediately report to the vicar general (see Diocesan Policy 407 below).

Diocesan Policy 704, General Standards, 4:

1.   Take seriously every allegation of suspected abuse and/or unprofessional conduct. Always report any reasonably suspected abuse of a minor to local law enforcement or to the Louisiana Department of Child Protection Services and your chief administrative officer.

In cases of allegations of sexual abuse of minors, after reporting to local law enforcement or to the Louisiana Department of Child Protection Services, immediately report to the vicar general.

    a.      Louisiana Department of Child Protection: 855-452-5437.
    b.      Vicar General: Office Hours, (337) 439-7400; After Office Hours, (337) 436-7223.

Helpful Information Sources

US Conference of Catholic Bishops provides The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana provides a statewide database of reporting and victim services.

Child Lures Prevention provides information to assist in creating safe environments for children and youth.


LA Department of Social Services provides statewide listings of Office of Community Service contacts for reporting suspected child abuse.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Charles B. Wang International Children's Building 699 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3175 703-274-3900 | 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

Kidline 1-800 CHILDREN (244 - 5373) provides assistance in understanding and making the report to Office of Community Services. Offers crisis counseling and referrals for victims of child abuse and their families

Parents Anonymous, Inc. 675 W. Foothill Blvd., Suite 220, Claremont, CA 91711 PHONE: (909) 621-6184 FAX: (909) 625-6304 E-MAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: http://www.parentsanonymous.org/

Parents Anonymous encourages all parents to ask for help early to effectively break the cycle of abuse. Parents Anonymous groups meet in local community centers, churches, schools, housing projects, shelters, and prisons. Parents Anonymous also operates local 24-hour hotlines.

Community Service Offices

Office of Child Protection
Calcasieu Parish
1919 Kirkman Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Hotline 337-491-2545

Allen Parish
P. O. Drawer BM
Oakdale, LA 71463
318 -335-1740

Beauregard Parish
P. O. Drawer 1117
DeRidder, LA 70634

Cameron Parish
Call Calcasieu Parish

Jefferson Davis Parish
P. O. Box 1103
Jennings, LA 70546

Child Protection can be contacted if one is not sure of a suspicion to discuss whether the observed behaviors need professional help. Gather as much pertinent information as possible before phoning, such as the child’s general behavior, physical appearance, and problematic behavior.

Civil Sheriff’s Offices

 Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office
601 Court Street
P.O. Box 278
Oberlin, LA 70655

Beauregard Parish Sheriff’s Office
412 Bolivar Bishop Drive
DeRidder, LA

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office
5400 East Broad Street
Lake Charles, LA 70615

Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office
124 Recreation Center Lane
P. O. Box 1250
Cameron, LA 70631

Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office
321 East Plaquemine Street
Jennings, LA 70546

Louisiana State Police
State Sex-Offender and Child-Predator Registry
PO Box 66614, Box A-6
Baton Rouge, LA 70896-6614
Telephone: 225-925-6100 or 1-800-858-0551
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
toll-free number - 855-4LA-KIDS (855-452-5437)
for anyone in the state to call and report child abuse or neglect.

Diocese of Lake Charles Personnel

Reverend Monsignor Daniel Torres
Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia
414 Iris Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Deacon George Stearns, Chancellor
414 Iris Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601

Rickard Newman, Director
Office of Child and Youth Protection
Victims Assistance Coordinator
411 Iris Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
337-439-7400, Ext. 313

The Most Reverend Glen John Provost
Bishop of Lake Charles

 This information is available in booklet form from the Office of Child and Youth Protection. Please contact Rickard Newman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 337-439-7400, Ext. 313 for assistance.