Judge delays Dennis Perkins trial
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The upcoming trial of Dennis Perkins has been delayed, again, after more issues tied to evidence in the case.
The trial is now scheduled to begin on January 9, 2023.
Perkins, a former high-ranking Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputy, is accused of rape, child pornography, sexual battery and video voyeurism. He is also accused of covering desserts with his own semen so that they could later be fed to children.
Perkins is represented by defense attorney Jarrett Ambeau.
Ambeau says he has still not received all of the evidence in the case from prosecutors.
In a pre-trial hearing on the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 17, presiding Judge Erika Sledge ordered prosecutors to hand over all evidence to Ambeau by Tuesday, Aug. 23.
But an even larger issue behind the trial delay concerns evidence the defense says it recently received in error.
Ambeau disclosed in the hearing that when prosecutors recently turned over more evidence in the case, they accidentally included material containing child pornography. Any evidence containing child pornography or any other evidence known as “contraband” cannot legally be handed over. Instead, prosecutors must call the defense in to view that type of evidence in person.
Ambeau told the court he believes this was simply a mistake by the prosecution.
“I don’t think the state (prosecutors) did this in any malicious way,” Ambeau told Sledge.
Ambeau told the court that, in attempting to delete that alleged child pornography from his work computers, he inadvertently deleted certain other evidence needed for trial. That caused him to lose a great amount of work he had done in preparation for the upcoming trial, he said.
Prosecutors say there are nearly a million pieces of evidence in the case, mainly photographs and videos. Prosecutors said they “deny” that they sent Ambeau any contraband evidence.
Ambeau also asked that he be given immunity from being criminally charged should he be found to be in possession of any other illegal evidence in the case that prosecutors might inadvertently send to him.
The trial was scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022.
Perkins’ former school teacher wife, Cynthia, was also charged in portions of the case and pled guilty earlier this year. She was sentenced to 41 years in prison and agreed to testify against her now ex-husband. The two were married at the time of their arrests.
The case is being prosecuted by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
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