Report: Priest recorded having group sex on altar of Louisiana church

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Report: Priest recorded having group sex on altar of Louisiana church
Report: Priest recorded having group sex on altar of Louisiana church

The lights inside Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Pearl River were on later than usual on Sept. 30, so a passerby stopped to take a closer look.

Peering inside, the onlooker saw the small parish’s pastor half-naked having sex with two women on the altar, according to court documents. The women were dressed in corsets and high-heeled boots. There were sex toys and stage lighting. And a mobile phone was mounted on a tripod, recording it all.

The eyewitness took a video and called the Pearl River police, who arrived at the church and viewed that recording. Officers then arrested the Rev. Travis Clark, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul since 2019, on obscenity charges.

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The Archdiocese of New Orleans announced the priest’s arrest Oct. 1 but would not give specifics about why he was arrested. Nor would the police.

New details, however, have emerged in court filings that paint a lurid picture of a priest recording himself engaged in sexual role play while desecrating a sacred place within the church. Public records additionally show that one of the women, Mindy Dixon, 41, is an adult film actor who also works for hire as a dominatrix. On a social media account associated with Dixon, a Sept. 29 post says she was on her way to the New Orleans area to meet another dominatrix “and defile a house of God.”

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Dixon and Melissa Cheng, 23, were booked on the same count as Clark, 37. Police said the charge stems from from “obscene acts [that] occurred on the altar, which is clearly visible from the street.”

The arrests mark the latest scandal to befall the Archdiocese of New Orleans, after a different north shore priest, the Rev. Pat Wattigny, reportedly disclosed on Oct. 1 to Archbishop Gregory Aymond that he had sexually abused a minor in 2013. Aymond removed Wattigny from public ministry last week and added him to the archdiocese’s list of clergy whom the church believes have been credible accused of molestation.

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Clark, who was ordained in 2013, had recently been named chaplain of Pope John Paul II High School in Slidell, in addition to his duties at Saints Peter and Paul. At the high school, he succeeded Wattigny, who had resigned from that position this summer over inappropriate text messages sent to a student. Pope John Paul II’s principal on Tuesday sent a letter to school parents criticizing Aymond for waiting until last week to tell him that Wattigny had been under investigation for those texts since February.

The archdiocese announced it had suspended Clark from ministry the day after he was arrested.

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