EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A new judge will hear the case of a Baton Rouge juvenile who was seen on video abusing dogs, according to WAFB.
The move comes after Juvenile Court Judge Pamela Johnson refused to sign a warrant in the case earlier this week. She was the judge on duty when deputies presented their case including a copy of the video.
The juvenile’s face is clearly shown on the video and deputies said a relative identified the teen as being the person seen in the video. Judge Johnson made the refusal after she said there was no probable cause to make an arrest.
The video was posted online and quickly went viral last weekend, leading to calls for justice from around the world. Sources have said that the boy’s mother was served with a court order Friday to appear before a new juvenile court judge next week.
WAFB said that Judge Johnson has not responded to several requests for comment.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore has released a statement Thursday evening regarding the case of a juvenile shown on video abusing dogs, according to WAFB.
Moore said he shares the same concern for the dogs that many people across the world have shared upon seeing the video on social media. The district attorney cannot release any information about the case, because it would violate state laws dealing with the confidentiality of juvenile court proceedings.
However, Moore said he has "filed delinquency petitions against a juvenile alleging cruelty to an animal" which is a misdemeanor offense.
Here is the district attorney's full statement:
“There have been several news stories following the release of a video of two dogs being abused in the Baton Rouge area. Some of these reports concerned the legal proceedings associated with these events. Many concerned citizens of our parish and state, as well as others around the country, have expressed their opinions about the treatment of these animals, their desire for prosecution of the offender(s) and the need to protect these animals. I would like to issue a statement to inform all of those who have expressed their heartfelt concern exactly how this matter will be handled. I absolutely share their concerns and understand their desire for information regarding this crime. I must refrain, however, from releasing any information that would be contrary to Louisiana state laws dealing with confidentiality of juvenile matters.”
“I can affirm that the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s office has filed delinquency petitions against a juvenile alleging cruelty to an animal, a misdemeanor offense. Juvenile matters are confidential unless they are statutorily enumerated as a crime of violence. They are also closed to the public. Under Louisiana law, this offense is not classified as a crime of violence. Therefore, no further comment can be made as to this particular offense, the alleged offender and the specifics of this case. Rest assured, we will zealously pursue this matter through final adjudication.”
“While I would personally like to comment to fully inform all those interested, the law does not allow me to do so in any meaningful way. We take animal cruelty cases very seriously at this office and will seek justice in all such cases. I appreciate all of the calls, letters, emails and posts that have been sent regarding the allegations reported in the news and on social media. Unfortunately, no other comments are allowed at this time.”