Tainted food at center of child sex case involving Livingston deputy, school teacher
LIVINGSTON – Multiple sources confirmed to the WBRZ Investigative Unit Monday, an investigation is under way into contaminated food being brought to school by a fired teacher at the center of a disturbing child sex case.
The teacher, Cynthia Perkins, was arrested almost two weeks ago along with her husband Dennis, a Livingston Parish Sheriff’s deputy. The deputy was arrested in Sabine Parish the night before his wife was taken into custody in Livingston Parish.
Parents of students at Westside Junior High were notified of the investigation into baked goods last week, sources told WBRZ. The WBRZ Investigative Unit confirmed it involves bodily fluids that were mixed in with baked goods brought from Perkins' home.
Cynthia Perkins’ background with the Livingston Parish School System dates back to 2012 when she started working at Live Oak Middle. From 2013 to 2015 she transferred to North Live Oak Elementary then finally in 2016 to Westside Junior High where she taught until her arrest on October 23.
The Livingston Parish School System has referred questions to the Attorney General’s office. The AG’s office is the agency prosecuting the case.
The school said homemade food is no longer allowed on campus but a district spokesperson said Monday, it has not made changes to policies about such items being brought to campus.
Cynthia Perkins’ attorney did not elaborate on the baked goods when questioned Monday.
"We can't answer that," Woody Scott, the attorney, responded to WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto's questions about concerns over food brought to the school by Perkins.
The Attorney General's Office referred to previous comments when asked for an update Monday, too:
"We would like to remind the public and the press that this is a very sensitive investigation involving crimes against child(ren). The victim(s) and family members deserve to have their privacy rights respected by all. The matter is a very serious, ongoing investigation; and we will not make any comments that may negatively impact the rights of the juvenile(s) or that may jeopardize a successful prosecution of these crimes. Our goals are to protect the welfare of the minor child(ren) and to ensure justice is served on the perpetrators of these heinous crimes. We continue to encourage anyone who has information on criminal conduct or potential victims to call our office at 1-800-256-4506.”
WBRZ has reported numerous times on Dennis Perkins’ previous issues as a law enforcement officer. Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard has been at the center of controversy over previous complaints about Perkins and questions about if he responded appropriately. A Baton Rouge Police officer told WBRZ exclusively, he reported concerns to Sheriff Jason Ard about Perkins interaction with his stepdaughter. Ard rebuffed later, no written complaint was filed and described the incident as tickling that did not violate the law.
The couple lost both of their jobs amid their arrests.
The couple is held in jail without the ability to post bond. Court hearings are scheduled for each soon.