Settlement Reached in Case Involving New Orleans Catholic Deacon

( – In April, Virgil Maxey “V.M.” Wheeler III died in Louisiana. He’d previously pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a boy and had been suspended by the Catholic Church. Now, his estate has finally given his victim a hefty settlement.

Wheeler’s estate agreed to pay the victim, 34-year-old Mac McCall, $1 million to settle a lawsuit. According to The Guardian, the victim accused the late former deacon of raping and allegedly showering with a 12-year-old boy between 2001 and 2002. The member of the New Orleans archdiocese was also accused of performing other illegal sex acts on the child. McCall agreed to allow his identity to be revealed. He’s the son of a politician in the area and a woman who hosted a Catholic television show.

Richard Trahant, the attorney for McCall, confirmed that his client reached a settlement with the estate but didn’t give any details. He explained that it was a confidential agreement but said the “dispute has been amicably resolved.”

In the spring of 2021, Louisiana authorities arrested the deacon, who was also a professional attorney. In December 2022, Wheeler entered a guilty plea to a charge of indecent behavior with a juvenile. The court sentenced him to probation and required him to register on the sex offender database.

McCall filed the lawsuit against the wealthy former deacon a few months after his arrest. After Wheeler issued the guilty plea, he verbally agreed to a $1 million settlement with the victim. When Wheeler learned that he would have to register as a sex offender, he decided he wasn’t going to pay the settlement. After he died, his estate reportedly began moving money to Tulane University Law School, SMU Law School, Ochsner Health System, and New Orleans’s Catholic Community Foundation in an alleged attempt to keep his victim from receiving any of the money.

McCall spoke about the settlement on September 26, saying the outcome of his case showed others who survived similar crimes that they “can have a voice and win.” More importantly, he said they could heal.

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