Attorney General Attends Event Raising Money for St. Mary’s, Office Actively Investigating Abuse Claims

Attorney General Jeff Landry
Attorney General Jeff Landry

Despite ongoing allegations and investigations, Attorney General Jeff Landry held a fundraiser with St. Mary’s Residential Training School at the beginning of June, raising questions around the ethicacy within the office that were not answered by Landry’s team.

At the beginning of June, the annual aerobatic performance, Rockin’ on The Runway, was held in Sunset, Louisiana. The family-friendly event showcased aerial maneuvers by the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, SRC Airshows and Robby Grice.

Tickets were $25, and children under 12 were able to watch for free. All proceeds raised went to St. Mary’s Residential Training School, a facility in Boyce that is meant to serve around 200 children and young adults with developmental disabilities.

Rockin’ on the Runway posted on Facebook that its family is dedicated to raising funds and awareness for St. Mary’s, as Cole Elliott, who is a St. Mary’s resident, is their “why” and a “driving force behind Rockin’ on the Runway & we will continue to do our part to build a bigger, brighter future for Cole and everyone at St. Mary’s.”

Big Easy recently uncovered multiple stories against St. Mary’s and its staff’s treatment of those with mental and physical disabilities. Guardians of the abused boys within St. Mary’s care confirmed that they had filed complaints and accusations with the Attorney General’s office, even though the office failed to comment in time for the original publication.

That said, Landry is photographed – and his office posted about the event as well – with those from St. Mary’s, including Administrator Christi Guillot.

“The Attorney General kicked off Rockin’ on the Runway this weekend,” a Facebook post by the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General stated. “The benefit airshow was to raise funds and awareness for St. Mary’s Residential Training School.”

Photo Source: Facebook

Landry’s office goes on to tag St. Mary’s as well as describe the facility’s work.

After two weeks of phone calls, emails, and outreach over social media the Attorney General’s office never commented on this conflict of interest.

This all comes on the heels of yet another serious allegation against St. Mary’s and its staff’s conduct to those within its facilities.

Seth’s Story

Seth Marceaux, who is 20-years-old, nonverbal and has autism, lived at St. Mary’s from May of 2016 to October of 2019.

At the beginning of Marceaux’s time within the facility, his mother, Denise Young, felt confident and comfortable enough to even leave the country, she said. She knew he was in good hands – at the time.

That changed though after about two years.

“I saw it with my own eyes, because I was being like the FBI over there,” Young said. “I would just see things and say things.”

It started with Marceaux dropping into a fetal position anytime someone would approach him at school.

Seth Marceaux Photo source: Denise Young

“That’s not Seth’s behavior at all,” Young said. “I asked (a St. Mary’s social worker) if she could look into it…She just kept telling me that ‘at the end of the day you don’t have custody.’ It doesn’t matter if I have custody. I’m just telling you what’s going on.”

And then it continued to get worse. Young would visit Marceaux every other weekend, and she brought him clothes from home. She changed him and would see “unexplained bruising everywhere.”

At the end of 2018, the hospital trips started racking up. Marceaux was admitted to the hospital for CAT scans – his face was swollen and black and blue – as well as X-rays – including when his foot was swollen one time – to get checked.

Child Protection Services (CPS) as well as the police were called once because he had bruises all over. Young had taken Marceaux there after changing his pullup and recognizing bruising in his groin area.

A sexual trauma awareness and response (STAR) test given by the hospital came out negative, according to Young. A former St. Mary’s worker told Young, though, that when residents do not listen, staff members kick them in the privates.

Beyond the bruising, Young often recognized a lack of care for Marceaux’s hygiene as well.

“There was just so much neglect to shaving, brushing his teeth, keeping his hands clean,” Young said. “Every time we’d see him, we’d smell very sour…He’d have sores all over him.”

St. Mary’s also neglected to provide Marceaux with applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, as promised when he entered in 2016.

It all culminated, though, on November 4, 2018. 

Young drove to St. Mary’s to pick up Marceaux, and her mother and sister were going to join them somewhere in Alexandria. Young got the slip, like she had three years prior, with a note saying she was taking Marceaux off-campus.

“I just had a feeling so I said let me put my phone recording in my back pocket, and thank god I did,” Young said.

Young went to the gym to get Marceaux, handing the slip to the trainer like she’s supposed to. The supervisor of the dorm, she said, follows the pair out.

“I find it strange, but I’m just talking to Seth,” Young said. 

Young said that authorities at St. Mary’s were talking among themselves about calling higher ups. Marceaux started to become agitated. Young turns around, asks what’s wrong and finds herself cornered. 

They told Young she could not take Marceaux off-campus without her mother, which is heard in Young’s recording. When asked, they wouldn’t show her any paperwork that stated so. 

Those in charge push Young against the wall, yelling “you think it’s funny, huh?,” which can be heard on the audio that Young provided Big Easy. They also pulled Marceaux into a dark room and closed the door.

St. Mary’s claimed that Young assaulted them. She had to go to court five times since St. Mary’s never handed over the surveillance to the district attorney. The case was finally dismissed, but Young still has the assault charge on her record, as it would be around $1500 to take it off.

“If it was up to me, he would never have been at St. Mary’s,” Young said. “I just want to love my child for him to be happy and he was not happy at St. Mary’s.”

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