Livingston couple arrested in child rape investigation
LIVINGSTON – A Livingston Parish couple tied to the local school system and sheriff’s department is accused of making or possessing as many as sixty pornographic items involving children.
The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office released details about its investigation after WBRZ was first to report on the arrests of Cynthia Perkins, 34, and Dennis Perkins, 44, Wednesday.
The couple was arrested in two different areas: Cynthia Perkins in Livingston Parish and her husband arrested while out of town in Sabine Parish.
The attorney general said the couple was involved in producing or prepossessing child pornography and rape.
Cynthia Perkins was booked on 60 counts of production of pornography involving a juvenile under the age of 13 and two counts of first-degree rape.
Typically, a single, illegal act is labeled as one count. Sixty insinuates 60 varying crimes.
The husband, Dennis, was booked into jail on 60 counts of production of pornography involving a juvenile under 13, two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of possession of child pornography where the victim was under 13, two counts of video voyeurism and two counts of obscenity.
Preliminary hearings will be held next week, WBRZ learned Thursday. The hearings are related to the so-called Gwen's Law, which are hearings assigned for suspects tied to domestic abuse cases. Cynthia Perkins is expected in court Monday (10/28); Her husband is scheduled to appear Wednesday (10/30).
Also Thursday, Livingston Parish district attorney Scott Perrilloux recused himself from prosecuting the case. It was a procedural move handing the case over to the Attorney General whose office investigated the case through its state justice department.
The FBI, State Police and Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office assisted. The investigation was initiated following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children regarding the possible possession and distribution of child pornography.
Dennis Perkins was a lieutenant at the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office. He had been on the force since 2002 but was fired when he was arrested, Sheriff Jason Ard said in a statement.
"It is a sad day for us, for all law enforcement officers, when you arrest one of your own. We at the LPSO work hard everyday to retain the trust placed in us by our citizens. I understand this was a veteran law enforcement officer, one who had dedicated a lot of time and effort into this community, but as I have said in the past - no one is above the law. This type of alleged behavior will not be tolerated by me or anyone at the LPSO. I do not condone these alleged acts. I am disappointed. I have always considered Denny a friend and a family member. The Attorney General’s Office is leading this investigation. We are assisting and offering to cooperate in any way we can," the sheriff said.
Cynthia Perkins was a Livingston Parish School System teacher but quit her job while in custody early Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The Livingston Parish school system confirmed Perkins was an employee and released this statement:
"An employee of Livingston Parish Public Schools has resigned today as the result of an ongoing investigation by law enforcement.
Livingston Parish Public School officials became aware of the investigation early this morning and met with the employee, at which time the resignation was rendered and accepted.
Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to the safety and security of all students and employees and is committed to working with the proper authorities as needed through the course of this investigation."
Cynthia Thompson Perkins was being held on a $500,000 bond. Jail records show Dennis Perkins is being held in Ascension Parish jail for his own protection. He's being held on a $1,675,000 bond.
“Protecting Louisiana children is one of my top priorities,” Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a prepared statement. “So my office and I will continue to do all we can to find and arrest child predators.”
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