Disclaimer: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) — A former Slidell priest, who was arrested in 2020 on charges of molestation of a juvenile, pleaded not guilty in court on Wednesday, May 30.

Information confirmed by the St. Tammany Clerk of Criminal Court states former St. Luke’s Church pastor, Patrick Wattigny, pled not guilty to molesting a 15-year-old in 2013.

In October 2020, Wattigny was arrested after the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office discovered allegations of him grooming victims through conversations, phone calls, text messages, and meetings leading up to the incident.

Previous investigations revealed the molestation happened in several places, including the church rectory.

In August 2022, while Wattigny was already in custody at the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center, a second victim, an adult male, came forward with allegations of molestation when he was a juvenile.

According to court documents, both charges of molestation have been combined into one case. Wattigny remains in custody while he awaits his June 12 trial date.

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