The three were charged with obscenity charges for having sex within the view of the public. That charge could raise some interesting legal issues and a viable (if novel) criminal defense.
We have often discussed the controversy over obscenity standards, including a recent charge against the producers of the movie “Cuties.”
In this case, the charge may hinge on the question of whether the sexual encounter could be seen from a public space. Under the Louisiana criminal code, the operative language is found in Section 106:
A. The crime of obscenity is the intentional:
(1) Exposure of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva, or female breast nipples in any public place or place open to the public view, or in any prison or jail, with the intent of arousing sexual desire or which appeals to prurient interest or is patently offensive.
(2)(a) Participation or engagement in, or management, operation, production, presentation, performance, promotion, exhibition, advertisement, sponsorship, electronic communication, or display of, hard core sexual conduct when the trier of fact determines that the average person applying contemporary community standards would find that the conduct, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest; and the hard core sexual conduct, as specifically defined herein, is presented in a patently offensive way; and the conduct taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
The code does have an exception for “churches” and other organizations but only for “persons acting in their capacity as employees or agents of such organizations.” I think we can agree that, in a church that adheres to a strict celibacy rule for priests, this is outside of the scope of employment.
Adding to the bizarre elements of the case is a report that Dixon, who is also an adult film actress, posted on social media that she was traveling to the New Orleans area to meet up with another dominatrix to “defile a house of God.” The women reportedly told the police they were at the church to film “roleplay” with the priest. It is not clear if an actual film was created.
All of this creates a legal quagmire. There is no question that filming a porn film at the church would violate Clark’s agreement with the church and possibly constitute trespass or other collateral minor offenses. He could also be sued for the cost of removing, burning, and replacing the altar. Yet, filming pornography is not considered prostitution and is a lawful act (unless found in violation of another law like criminal obscenity). The question is whether this is “in any public place or place open to the public view.” This is where my criminal defense background takes hold. There is an argument that this is neither a public place nor open to public view. The church was closed and thus not a “public” space at that time. When locked, it becomes private space under the control of the priests and staff.
Moreover, it is not clear what could be seen from public areas. In order to see into the church, the witness presumably had to go on church land. I have looked at the church property and there appears access from the sidewalk but it is not clear which window the witness used to look into the church. One article does show some windows close to the altar. If the court declares that the statutorily elements of exposure must be satisfied from a public location like the sidewalk, it may be difficult to establish those elements.
The question is how to distinguish this other cases. If this were not a House of God, but an actual home, we would not be discussing the possibility of a crime. Even if a house is near the sidewalk, entering the property to look into a window would be trespass. The area outside of a home is often called the curtilage and is afforded protection of privacy as well as constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment in cases of police surveillance. We have previously discussed some cases where people expose themselves inside of a home in plain view of the street, including a man arrested for making coffee at home in the nude. However, in this case, the scene was clearly not visible from the street and it is not clear what could be seen from the window since the altar is at the end of the Nave and beyond to the back of the Bema. It was the light that drew the witness to look into the window, not the scene itself.
Defense counsel could also challenge whether specific acts that were witnessed and whether any of the statutorily defined areas were exposed.
One would expect that Clark’s priestly career is over. Indeed, if this was a filmmaking enterprise, he presumably intended to leave the service of the Church since the altar and his participation would have been likely discovered. However, he may have a chance to defeat the criminal charge in what could be one of the most unique criminal defenses in history.
73 thoughts on “Louisiana Priest Arrested In “Demonic” Act With Two Women On Church Altar”
Ménage à Trois…..you unusually have to pay extra for action like that.
And the popes a commie.
If Rev. Clark was a gender fluid, transsexual who favored abortions, he could run for President.
2020 the year of crazy.
Something is strange – seems nobody has blamed this on Obama yet,
The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious crime in American political history.
The co-conspirators are:
Kevin Clinesmith, Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,
James Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic,
Sally Yates, James Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell,
Sir Richard Dearlove, Christopher Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud,
Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary,
Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,
Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,
Joe Biden, James E. Boasberg et al.
The DEVIL is alive and living in America! Being lead by the Democratic Party, anything Goes!
More Hog wash! Biden, another Polictical Crook “What’s in it for Me and my Family”!
Talk about another Polictical Crook “What’s in it for Me and my Family”! Trump has been using the presidency to enrich himself, but Trump supporters won’t admit it.
The Swamp That Trump Built
A businessman-president transplanted favor-seeking in Washington to his family’s hotels and resorts — and earned millions as a gatekeeper to his own administration.
“Joe Biden has dedicated his life to this country.”
Try again Cindy McCain.
Joe’s lifteime of public service has made Joe Biden’s entire family into multi-millionaires simply by cashing in on Joe’s public office as they all enriched themselves by doing nothing but trading on the Biden name. Nice ‘lifetime’ gig if you can get it, eh Joe? That’s why these Congresspeople don’t even want to retire when they are too old….the perks and benefits and power serve their egos and bank accounts, not the country!
There is nothing admirable about having no other “job” but ‘corrupt career politician’ enriching yourself and your family and friends via your public service. Joe Biden is one step up from a used car saleman.
Joe Biden spent eight years as Obama’s VP flying around the world giving entree to his unethical son to make ‘shady deals’ to enrich himself and his friends. When they weren’t flying around the world, they were back at the White House throwing party after party with Hollywood actors, pro athletes, and music stars. Or taking Luxury vacations, along with self-enrichment dealing, and parties with celebrities, when they weren’t going on all the Hollywood ‘shows’ to keep their popularity numbers up — this is what Obama and Biden spent most of their time doing for eight years. Neither Joe Biden nor Barack Obama know the meaning of “hard work.” They are both lazy, entitled and entirely self-serving individuals.
Trump works nonstop to solve problems and help the country thrive, all done on behalf of the American people. President Trump and his family gave up a hell of a lot in order to step up to “serve” the country at this time. We the People recognize it, too.
Anonymous, what are you babbling about?? Trump has a hotel 3 blocks from the White House and he has made a career out of avoiding taxes. But we’re supposed to think ‘Biden is the pocket stuffer’???
Why don’t you and all your puppets give us a vacation from the grinding stupidity of your comments.
Do you know anything other than The Trump organization owns a hotel in DC. The US Government owns the Building, Trump organization leases the property. Spent in excess of $20,000,000 on property. The Post Office what it was, sat empty from 1970 until Trump organization assume lease in 2014. Lease is for ? 60 years with renewal options.
Joe Biden’s most recent endorsements: Cindy McCain, Scientific American, Greta Thunberg, the New England Journal of Medicine, 1,600 religious leaders, 500 national security experts, The Rock.
Donald Trump’s most recent endorsements: the Taliban.
There is no on-the-ground excitement or enthusiasm for Biden/Harris. The campaign doesn’t advertise its scant public events because more Trump supporters show up waving Trump flags than Biden supporters. There is no ground game for Biden, no excitement for Kamala as VP. Biden campaign is hiding from media and avoiding any public scrutiny that would expose them both for who they are. Why?
‘Because the real “Biden-Harris” campaign is disinformation + censorship (press+social media+FBI); chaos (“vote by mail” fraud); violence (BLM/Antifa); and back-room deals to steal election. The corrupt and demented Joe and inert and unlikeable Kamala would only get in the way.’ (lee smith)
Iconic Sex Pistols Singer Johnny Rotten: ‘Of Course I’m Voting For Trump’
“Rotten, whose real name is John Lydon, holds three citizenships — U.S., British and Irish. And he told the BBC he’s “definitely” voting for President Trump in the Nov. 3 election.
“Yes, of course, I’m voting for Trump,” Lydon said in the interview. “He’s an individual thinker, I’ll give him that for a start. He’s not the most lovable fellow on God’s earth, but I cannot see the opposition as offering me anything by way of a solution.”
The singer, who later headed up Public Image Ltd., added that Trump “really is making the country a bit better.”
Politics has been very good to me.
Just how much was Johnny involved with Russiagate?
Why don’t the McShames grasp the need for them to disappear?
Oh, I know, federal taxes paid for the incompetent flyer and poser, oh, and entitled son and grandson of admirals, John McShame, to create a wealthy fiefdom full of well-compensated sycophants and minions, gloriously displaying, for the edification of all Americans, the absolute imperative of term limits.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely”
– Lord Acton
John McShame was absolutely corrupt in his psychotic pursuit, possession and exercise of personal power for personal power’s sake.
Not a statesman he.
The Biden family is not dissimilar.
Independently wealthy President Trump works for the state; not for the gifting of alms, benefits and entitlements, but for the freedom of the people and the prosperity of the people’s nation.
George, do you believe in the 1st Amendment? Should Cindy McCain have less freedom of speech than you?
Ask the families of the POW/MIA’s how they feel about the Hanoi songbird Cindy married after he dumped his first wife.
At least Cindy knows how many homes she owns, something her scum bag/#1 war monger husband did not. Rot in hell John McStain.
Much has changed in attitude about sex in my lifetime. Today if it is between consenting adults it is permitted; then adultery was a crime everywhere, now only in 16 states.. In about half the states and territories the age of consent is 16.
What secular law was violated? They should bring a suit for false arrest.
Possibly trespass. Leave to enter and use premises for one purpose does not grant leave to enter and use for all purposes.
delete my account
I don’t see why a State should be involved in this matter.
One would expect that Clark’s priestly career is over
Ann Coulter recently stated that Chris Wallace’s “entire career at Fox has been an audition tape for NBC”.
Travis can use his tape to audition for a career as a university faculty member, news reporter (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly), attorney (your star pupil Avenatti), Member of Congress (Cal Cunningham), or US President (Kennedy, Clinton, Trump). His future looks very bright
A college friend of mine is an incardinated Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of N.O. and we discussed this tragic event. He was a physicist working for NASA before becoming a priest. He spends one hour per day in deep mystical prayer before the Blessed Sacrament precisely because our world is dangerous. America has lost its way because Americans are heretical
see Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae: Concerning New Opinions, Virtue, Nature and Grace, With Regard to Americanism Pope Leo XIII – 1899
Interviewer: You are often dealing with people who are very critical of the church and not always charitable toward you or other Catholics. How do you maintain your own spiritual hope and balance through all that?
Bishop Barron: Holy Hour. That is why I do it every day. When you’re in this sort of work and you’re out there in the culture, it is a spiritually dangerous place to be. You are under a kind of spiritual assault a lot. When you come out into the public space speaking about the Catholic Church today, it puts you in that dangerous position. The Holy Hour that I do every morning is key to whatever spiritual balance I find.
interview of Bishop Robert Barron by Jesuit periodical America Magazine
NB: Word on Fire Digital has produced under Bishop Barron a wonderful film on St Ignatius of Loyola and the Jesuits. Good stuff.
Estovir, how dumb! Presumably Fox News pays Chris Wallace enough that he doesn’t need a job at NBC. If Wallace wanted out of Fox, he would’ve left long ago.
They should put their talents to something uplifting like a trans performance at the local library.
As if the party of love and tolerance needs another reason to smear Catholics. Politically timely too!
Jonathan: Sex between a priest and 2 women on the alter of a Catholic church might seem bizarre. But sex involving priests, nuns, parishioners and others has been common for millennia. So too has been priestly sex with minor children–especially boys. So the rule requiring celibacy is observed more in the breach than in the observance. The Church has a lot of other bizarre practices and traditions like Stigmata, the Flagrum, the Confraternities of the Chord, Exorcism and Papal Infallibility–just to name a few. So one should not really be surprised by what went on at the church in New Orleans. All things considered one could argue, with somewhat of a tongue in cheek, that Rev. Clark was actually acting within the scope of his employment while carrying out the demonic ritual.
Now if we want to talk about really bizarre things that go on in the Church consider this. In 2018 Australian Cardinal George Pell was convicted of having sex with choir boys. He was later acquitted in a subsequent trial. What is bizarre and Michiavellian about this case is that Giovanni Becciu, the Vatican’s former secretary of state, is now being charged with funneling about $800,000 of the Pope’s charity to Australia to buy false testimony in the first trial against Cardinal Pell, Becciu’s arch rival. The rivalry goes back to 2017 when Pell accused Becciu of financial fraud, e,g., dodgy loans, how Becciu acquired an expensive property on London’s Sloan Square and mysterious transfers of cash from a papal charity to Becciu’s brother in Sardenia. Pell ordered an audit of these transactions but Becciu, Pell’s superior at the time, halted the investigation. The Vatican has refused to comment on the case because the investigation is, naturally, secret.
Clark’s sexual tryst may be interesting from the criminal law aspect but probably would never have come to light had not a nosy neighbor reported it to the police. No doubt the “demonic” tryst would have remained secret so the Church could argue it “adheres” to a rule of celibacy. The Church has a lot of secrets like the secret Catholic cult Supreme Court nominee Judge Ammy Barret belongs to. But I prefer the Pell/Becciu case that reveals the really bizarre intrigues that go in the Catholic Church–worthy of a Dan Brown novel.
But sex involving priests, nuns, parishioners and others has been common for millennia.
And we have that on your authority.
I’d suggest you consult both fiction and memoir by Andrew Greeley. He’s not going to tell you priests and nuns are friendly.
A church by any definition is a gathering place for spiritual devotions. A church is not a closed off facility
which definition would defeat its mission and reason for existing. Non-christians are particulary invited and welcomed.
As a lawyer and minister I would love to defend the honor of the Lord and church against these devils.
Eurie is just our usual troll by yet another name.
The Troll masbaiter has spoken! Ohyeee! Fear not we Troll for Troll’s!!!
Definitely a life-altaring experience.
Pork em if ya got em.
At best he wasn’t assaulting male kids.
Well I guess that’s a step in the right direction.
Was the witness a Peeping Thomist?
I should think a thorough washing, sanding, and revarnishing of the alter should do. As a legal case, the State is wasting its time and the taxpayers resources. The Priest should be released from his vows and fired. He would then be free to devote all of his time and considerable energies to serious pornography.
The church should loosen up a bit and allow these men to marry. It would hopefully eliminate many of the issues the church has had in the past with priests.
There’s one good thing about the whole crazy scene, he’s wasn’t with young boys.
The church should loosen up a bit and allow these men to marry.
Why? We’ve had a celibate priesthood for 1,600 years. Are you always this flippant?
The absence of a celibacy requirement hasn’t prevented the Episcopal Church from being shot-through with homosexuals. (I’m told on reliable authority that 40% of one of the more recent entering classes at the premier Episcopal seminary in the United States consisted of known homosexuals). You have garbage clergy because you have garbage screening. (Because the people doing the screening are…garbage clergy).
Our lousy bishops will lament the ‘vocations crisis’. They’re not interested in the methods employed by bishops who have been successful at persuading young men to follow a vocation and the crew they do recruit include ringers like this guy. There are provinces within the Jesuit Order who all but advertise that they are collecting pools of homosexuals.
It is incumbent upon Catholics to marry, raise and teach their children in the Catholic mold and produce vocations. How many did you produce? Catholics exercise the apostolate of evangelization via their family and engagement of the world around them. How do you, your spouse, your children fulfill these?
They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. In this way, their temporal activity openly bears witness to Christ and promotes the salvation of men. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ.
DECREE ON THE APOSTOLATE OF THE LAITY
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS,
POPE PAUL VI
ON NOVEMBER 18, 1965
It is incumbent upon Catholics to marry, raise and teach their children in the Catholic mold and produce vocations. How many did you produce?
Wha? I don’t have a child in holy orders, ergo I’m out of line in complaining that a seminary rector in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe admitted Rudy Kos even though (1) his estranged wife alerted the Archdiocese that he was addled by sexual deviancy and (2) the preceding rector left a note in his file upon his previous application telling whom it may concern that he was not to be admitted. That’s an extreme example. A blander example would be the vocations director in Providence who told a prospect “we don’t need priests from 1952” or the houses of formation shot-through with obvious deviants (see Paul Mankowski, SJ on the men he entered formation with in 1974), or the ample numbers of “Jungians, Unitarians, and goofies” in the priesthood (See Fr. Joseph Wilson’s remarks on this point). You want to blame the laity, start with the boobs who insist on every single parish remaining open and staffed with a f/t priest. I was once associated with a parish where a critical mass was in a snit at the bishop because their priest was transferred elsewhere (per canonical rules, he’d been there 12 years) and they were assigned an administrator whose primary appointment was at a neighboring parish. Then a parochial vicar was assigned to the parish who didn’t appeal to the cafeteria Catholics, so 30% of the parish leaves. It’d be nice if a vocation came out of those families, but an ability to do basic arithmetic would be an agreeable first step.
Jungian thinking would be a step up for a lot of priests I have met over the decades. Many of them were just gay sycophants looking for an easy paycheck, entirely void of any spiritual depth at all.
It is refreshing to see someone express devotion to the Catholic Faith. My husband and I had 3 boys, we raised them in the Church, all are married, their wives are wonderful and their children attend Mass as well. No vocations though. The country needs holy families to build holy communities to give us holy leaders. – JMJ
I raised kids in the Catholic church and made it clear the vocations were not for them. If that’s a sin it’s on me.
In my mind, I exercised my authority as a father in this respect and make no apologies to the Church for it.
They can add it to the list of sins if they like, when I come before the throne of God for judgment.
One suspects on that Day the alleged words of St John Chrysostom will be verified:
“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests, and those of bishops, lampposts along the way”
ArtDc – “Are you always this flippant?”
I must confess father yes I’m always this “flippant.” Why I come from a family of “flippants”. We have probably been practicing “flippants” for 1,600 years.
You appear to be sensitive to the word “homosexual” you’ve mentioned it twice and it doesn’t appear once in the article. Lighten up it’s Sunday.
Priest should be allowed to marry and women should be allowed to become priest.
Maybe within not the scope, but the telescope, of employment. And the priest’s defense would be among the most unusual in history, but not most unique–because “unique” means one of a kind and something is either unique or not.
The meaning of “unique” have evolved to include “unusual” or “rare” in common usage. And where can I get a copy of the video?
Religion is adorable, isn’t it. Rapist priests get passed around for decades to cover up what they’ve done, but a consensual episode requires the burning of an alter (which does what, exactly, other than display more empty hokum?).
Religion in and of itself is not the issue or the problem. It is the people within it.
You’ve told three lies in one sentence.
You haven’t identified any.
It’s their altar and they can burn it if they like.
This priest is another case example for the necessity of a return to measured corporal punishment. A good flogging would be a sufficient penance. A Singaporean caning would do. Or the stocks perhaps. Tie him up outside the church for 48 hours and let his parishioners say what they think of him to his face.
I’ll be interested to hear what if anything the bishop does to rectify their obviously flawed personnel policies. Really atrocious how these perverts just keep on surfacing.
Makes one year for more decent times when sane and normal priests might have a discrete affair with a lady on the side. Here we have some kind of would be satanist, with a collar. Unbelievable.
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