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Controversial Sorrento mayor charged with child porn

2 years 1 month 2 weeks ago October 23, 2014 Oct 23, 2014 Thursday, October 23 2014 October 23, 2014 5:47 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones & Chris Nakamoto

SORRENTO - Authorities arrested Wilson Longanecker Jr., the former mayor of Sorrento, Thursday morning and accused him of 40 counts of possessing child porn.

The Attorney General's Office said investigators searched Longanecker's home Thursday for several hours. Officers removed evidence from the home before Longanecker himself was arrested.

The AG's Office said Longanecker will also be charged with one count of obstruction of justice for trying to hide evidence. 

"He didn't want us to have certain items that we ended up in possession of," Kurt Wall with the Attorney General's Office said.

The arrest came as the result of a joint investigation with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's deputies, State Police and Office of Homeland Security. Longanecker was booked into the Ascension Parish Jail with no bond.

Longanecker caused controversy in his time as mayor for taking extended leaves of absence. He cited medical reasons for his lengthy disappearance from his position and lack of contact with council members or town workers.

The news of the arrest caused humiliation among residents in the town.

"We've had so many problems here," Resident Bea said. "I'm ashamed sometimes to say I'm from Sorrento."

"It puts a taint on the town," Shari Oubre said. "It makes the town look bad."

In recent years, Sorrento has been the subject of numerous high profile news stories. In 2007, Mayor Brenda Melancon was arrested after she pulled out in front of a motorcyclist which led to his death.  Former Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot plead guilty this year and was sentenced this year for lying to the FBI in a case involving sexual misconduct.

If convicted on the child porn charges, Longanecker faces up to 20 years for each count.

Image: The Creole

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