Prosecutor claims DA knew about sex offender's deal
ST. FRANCISVILLE - The lead prosecutor on a case involving a man accused of having sex with four juveniles, says District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla was well aware of the deal that was reached.
This week the WBRZ Investigative Unit discovered sex offender Johnny Brown was only sentenced to three years in jail for his crimes. He was convicted of having sex with four juveniles over a two year period. Two of his victims were only 13-years old.
Amanda McClung prosecuted the case.
"Ultimately I was not responsible for the original charge nor any reduction in charges," she told News 2. "All charging decisions are made by the District Attorney and any reductions are only done at his instruction or his approval."
On Monday, advocates for sex abuse victims called the deal Brown received "unheard of."
"I think this is the best deal in my experience that I have seen," said Morgan Lamandre, an attorney for Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response (STAR).
McClung couldn't say too much about the case but wanted to set the record straight. She says she left the West Feliciana Parish District Attorney's Office to pursue opportunities as a prosecutor in Natchitoches.
"When you deal with cases involving minors, there are always other factors besides what is in the police report," McClung said.
For the second time in less than a week, District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla declined to do an on-camera interview. However, he did tell me on the phone there was no controversy at the time the cases were prosecuted. He believes this mess is being cooked up by his political opponent, David Opperman. We reached Opperman by phone, who said he had absolutely nothing to do with this controversy. D'Aquilla is one of the only district attorneys in our area facing any election opposition.
Today at noon, StopSamDaquilla.com went online. The website was created by Robert Reinhardt.
"I just want to get out the practices going on in East and West Feliciana Parish, how the District Attorney is conducting business up there," Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt was fined by the Attorney General's Office for unfair trade practices recently. It happened after he created a similar website with Sam Daquilla's name. Today, he paid a nearly $2,500 fine for it.
The key focus of his new website is the case the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit featured Monday. Reinhardt hopes it raises awareness about what is going on.
"It's despicable," Reinhardt said. "I don't know Johnny Brown, not somebody I want to know, that sort of activity is reprehensible and unforgivable, but the fact that it's been sloughed off and covered up by a public official is unbelievable."
D'Aquilla told WBRZ the Brown case is two years old and no one raised an issue about it at the time it was prosecuted.