March 28, 2022
The Honorable Michael B. North
Chief Magistrate Judge
United States District Court
Eastern District of Louisiana
Dear Judge North:
I am Aaron Blaine Hebert, the “J.W. Doe'' named in federal court documents filed by my attorneys dated 12/23/20, “JW Doe vs. Archdiocese of New Orleans Indemnity, Inc., et. al” NO. 20-cv-1321.
In 1967-68, I was a 13 year old eight grader at St. Joseph’s Catholic elementary school located in Gretna, LA. I have attended St. Joseph since kindergarten. I was an average student who loved class and playing sports, both for the school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans CYO program and at school recess.
It was during this year that Father Lawrence Hecker, the assistant pastor at St. Joseph Church, took several of us school athletes into the church sacristy with the intent to show us athletes what a hernia examination would be like when we go into high school athletics.
Father Hecker told us to drop our pants and underwear as he groped our genitals.
None of us boys reported the incident to anyone because we respected that Father Hecker was a person of authority and above all a priest.
After this incident, it was a joke among us classmates that we called Father Hecker as “Hecker the Pecker Checker”.
As years passed, I always stayed in touch with my fellow grade school classmates. Our graduating class was close knit as we can say we have been friends for many up to 59 years.
Several years ago, one of those close friends asked if I would be a witness in his legal case against the Archdiocese of New Orleans because of the abuse incurred by Father Hecker. At first I was hesitant, then I asked if he could talk about the abuse he suffered under Father Hecker. He told me of the homosexual atrocities Father Lawrence Hecker committed on him and the demons he had been fighting all these years. To say I was taken aback was an understatement.
My sincere heartfelt sorrow went out to my friend that he had to endure the abuse afflicted upon him. After our discussion, I told him I would be a witness.
Afterwards I started to have guilt feelings and nightmares about what happened back in 1967-68. Especially after several of my friends who were altar boys told me of their abuse at the hands of Father Hecker. I felt that if I could have told someone, somebody, even my parents, that perhaps Father Hecker would be held accountable for what he had done to our innocence. Even more so the guilt I felt after I saw that Father Lawrence Hecker was on the list of pedophile priests and was moved from church parish to church parish by the Archdiocese and who knows how many other children he abused.
I resent the Archdiocese of New Orleans for not taking punitive criminal action against these priests and not being honest and upfront about the sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
There was no transparency, rather it was all swept under the rug. Recently the Archdiocese of New Orleans has declared bankruptcy. In my opinion, the Archdiocese of New Orleans is morally bankrupt, not financially bankrupt.
To this day, I am going through continued psychiatric counseling and prescribed medication for depression, anxiety and recurring nightmares. I still get upset when I see allegations and news of sexual abuse perpetrated by pedophile priests.
My question to you, Judge North, is why would you seal the court document deposition of Father Lawrence Hecker, a twice confirmed pedophile whom the Archdiocese and Archbishop of New Orleans continues to harbor and protect?
It is to my understanding that court documents are sealed only if there is a chance of injury or harm to an individual. What about the injury and harm that Father Lawrence Hecker brought upon his victims?
Father Lawrence Hecker needs to be brought to justice and the voices of his many victims need to be heard. Everyday, we victims have to live with the horror that this man has done to our innocent lives.
My attorneys have labeled Father Lawrence Hecker as being the “worst of the worst” pedophile more so than Father John Geoghan of the Archdiocese of Boston whose atrocities were brought to light and made public by the Boston Globe and the movie “Spotlight”.
My attorneys have told me that there are over 400 victim accusations against Father Lawrence Hecker brought forth to date. This number in itself shows that this man is a monster, only to be allowed to live and walk among the young freely.
To hold this man, the Archdiocese and Archbishop of New Orleans not accountable and responsible for his actions throughout the years is truly a perverse miscarriage of justice.
I, and we the many victims of Father Lawrence Hecker, demand that our voices be heard. We cannot be silent any longer as copies of my letter have been sent to the local news sources.
Aaron Blaine Hebert
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