Former New Orleans deacon, 85, dies awaiting rape trial

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A longtime Roman Catholic deacon and schoolteacher awaiting trial on rape charges in New Orleans has died. Eighty-five-year-old George Brignac died Monday after a brief hospitalization.

He had been awaiting trial on rape charges after a former altar boy told police Brignac had repeatedly raped him beginning in the late 1970s.

Defense attorney Martin Regan said Brignac had hoped to clear his name at trial.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans settled several lawsuits against Brignac, a longtime teacher, and included him among the more than 50 names of clergy removed from the ministry due to “credible accusations” of sexual abuse.

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