Disgraced Louisiana Priest Pleads Guilty to Filming Pornographic Material on Parish Altar

The New Orleans archbishop ordered the burning and replacement of the desecrated altar.

Father Travis Clark is seen after his Sept. 30 arrest.
Father Travis Clark is seen after his Sept. 30 arrest. (photo: St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office)

Travis Clark, the disgraced priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, pled guilty Monday to a felony count of obscenity for his actions in filming pornographic material with two hired women atop the altar of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Pearl River, Louisiana. 

Clark admitted his guilt as part of a plea deal in the state district court in Covington, Louisiana.

He received a suspended three-year prison sentence, three years supervised probation and a $1,000 fine, WAFB.com reported

In a statement Tuesday, the Archdiocese of New Orleans said it will now take the necessary steps to remove Clark from the priesthood.

“Now that the criminal proceedings involving Travis Clark have concluded, the Archdiocese of New Orleans will move forward with the process to have him formally laicized. The necessary information will be sent to the Vatican, where, in consultation with Vatican officials, the Holy Father will make the final determination on Clark’s laicization," the statement said.

On Sept. 30, 2020, he was arrested, along with the two women involved. A bystander called the police after seeing the lewd actions occurring while passing by the church windows. When authorities arrived at the scene, they removed the priest, the two women and multiple articles of sexual paraphernalia as well as lights and recording devices. 

In the wake of the arrest, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans called Father Clark’s behavior “obscene,” “deplorable” and “demonic.” Archbishop Aymond ordered the burning and replacement of the desecrated altar. 

The two women arrested with the priest pled guilty in July to misdemeanor counts of institutional vandalism. Both received two years probation. One of the women refers to herself as “Satanatrix” and had posted on social media the day before that she planned to “defile a house of God.” 

Though the desecrated altar had to be destroyed, the Archdiocese of New Orleans released a statement at the time saying that “there was no desecrating of the Blessed Sacrament” and that no other sacred vessels were known to be involved. 

This story was updated after posting to include the statement from the Archdiocese of New Orleans.