After a week of questions from WBRZ, sheriff says deputy disciplined after fumbling sex crimes case
LIVINGSTON - A Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy was disciplined for a clumsy investigation three years after a sex crimes complaint went nearly nowhere, the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned after a week-long inquiry into the agency's sex crimes unit.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office revealed to WBRZ late Friday a deputy was disciplined after Sheriff Jason Ard found a 2019 complaint about Tiki Tubing owner Patricia Fore was not handled as "diligently" as it should have.
The new information was released to WBRZ Friday after a week-long investigation but only after the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office spent the past week stonewalling requests about the case.
Fore is accused of inappropriate behavior with a teenage girl in 2019. The victim's family said they filed a complaint but it was never fully investigated.
"We felt powerless. We wanted something to be done, and nothing was being done. Who knows how many other victims there were between then and now?" the victim's mother said in an earlier interview with WBRZ.
Patricia Fore was only arrested days after her husband's arrest for an unrelated sexual assault complaint. John Fore—who co-owns Tiki Tubing with his wife Patricia—was arrested first on May 16, accused of molesting a young boy.
It was John Fore's arrest that blew the lid off the cold case involving Patricia Fore. She was booked on similar charges last week after the allegations were first made in 2019.
Friday, the sheriff's office said it handed the case over to District Attorney Scott Perrilloux.
At the time of Patricia Fore's arrest last week, Sheriff Jason Ard said he reopened the case against Patricia Fore and found issues.
"Following John Fore’s arrest, the 2019 case was brought to my attention," Ard said in a statement last week. "On review of that case, I realized that the case had not been pursued as diligently as it should have been."
Patricia Fore was arrested.
Since the arrests, WBRZ has asked the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office for specifics on how the case was botched and if anyone was disciplined.
Ard and his publicist made obtaining information difficult, often ignoring or going hours before responding with vague information.
The sheriff's office appeared to ignore questions from victims, too. The girl's mother said Thursday that she has been ignored by the sheriff's office since last week.
"The last time I talked to them they had nothing to say to me. That was the response every time I called for at least a year," she added.
The sheriff's office said Friday that it has 13 deputies working sex crimes cases.
The sheriff's office eventually revealed late Friday, the deputy who incorrectly handled the 2019 complaint was previously reassigned and had not been working sex crimes investigations.
The deputy is "no longer working in the sex crimes division," the sheriff's office said. But, no additional information was provided.
The deputy was disciplined, although the sheriff didn't elaborate.
"As a result of the 2019 complaint brought to the sheriff's attention and his personal review of the details of the case, the detective has been disciplined," the sheriff's office told the WBRZ Investigative Unit.
The sheriff's office refused to elaborate on if the deputy was involved in other questionable investigations.
The deputy was not identified, although WBRZ asked.
"The totality of the circumstances involving this investigation from 2019 to today, have been reviewed thoroughly and addressed internally by me," the sheriff said in a statement.
The sheriff was forced to release details after relentless questions from the WBRZ Investigative Unit, although he had previously ruled he would not discuss anything more to "maintain the integrity of this case."