12-year-old charged, accused of pushing nun into a wall

HOUMA, La. -- A 12-year-old boy faces a charge after he allegedly pushed an elderly nun into a wall, the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office says the child was charged with second-degree battery after the Oct. 15 incident at the Louis Infant Crisis Center founded by Sister Rosario O'Connell. The status of his case was not immediately known.

Capt. Dawn Foret said O'Connell was helping a resident with his homework when he refused to continue. Foret said O'Connell told the boy his privileges would be revoked for the night and as she walked away, the boy tackled her into a wall.

O'Connell died Wednesday. She was 87. Funeral mass for O'Connell was held Friday.

The name of the juvenile was not released because of his age. Deputies said an autopsy has been performed to determine a cause of death.

"At this time, we have no evidence to support that the injuries she sustained from the incident in October 2015 were a contributing factor to her death," the sheriff's office said in a statement Friday.

O'Connell founded the crisis center in 1979 after learning there were no resources for children in the area.

"Sister always had this idea, very intelligent, that early intervention with children who had been abused or battered is absolutely the best," local attorney Michael St. Martin said.

The St. Martin family has been involved with the center since the beginning when Louis St. Martin gave Sister Rosario seed money to open it.

"She cared for as many children as we had, regardless of their needs, regardless of her own person being tired -- sometimes ill," he said. "She's taught us all a lot. We don't know anywhere near what she knew. We're still learning and we're still in operation and we'll continue to provide the best care possible for the children."

The home will be renamed in honor of Sister Rosario, St. Martin said.