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Disgraced sheriff's deputy sentenced to 100 years in high-profile sex crimes case

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LIVINGSTON PARISH - A former Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy was sentenced to 100 years in prison for a multitude of sex crimes — several involving children — on Tuesday, years after WBRZ broke the story of his being arrested in a case that reportedly has numerous juvenile victims.

Dennis Perkins, first arrested in 2019 along with his wife Cynthia, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of second-degree rape, two counts of sexual battery of a child, one count of video voyeurism, two counts of production of child porn of children under the age of 13, and one count of the mingling of harmful substances. The couple initially faced more than 150 combined charges. 

The plea agreement means prosecutors and the defendant will forgo the trial, guaranteeing that Perkins' young victims will not have to testify about what they went through. 

"Not just for the victims but for the jurors who had to watch it, it would have been very disturbing," prosecutors said outside the court after Perkins' sentencing. "That's why we're so happy that we were able to achieve what we did today without having to go through that."

All sentences are to be served concurrently, except the sentence for video voyeurism, which will be served consecutively. Perkins is also required to register as a sex offender for life. 

"No one has to worry about Dennis Perkins hurting anyone ever again," one prosecutor added. "The victims were consulted and were all OK with this."

In front of a judge Tuesday, Perkins claimed he was sorry and said that God had forgiven him, adding that he hoped the victims' families would forgive him as well.

"Mr. Perkins accepted responsibility for his acts and did not accept responsibility for anything he did not do," Perkins' attorney said in a statement. "And he expressed his sorrow in the courtroom for all persons harmed in this matter."

His wife, Cynthia, took a plea agreement in 2022. The pair split after their arrests in 2019, and the court allowed their cases to be prosecuted separately. Cynthia's agreement, which sentenced her to 41 years for her role in the disturbing crimes, would have required that she testify against her ex-husband if his case had gone to trial.

The most serious of their crimes included reports that the couple had raped an unconscious woman after drugging her and that Cynthia, a school teacher who resigned after her arrest, fed her students pastries laced with Dennis' bodily fluids. 

Neither Dennis nor Cynthia Perkins are eligible for parole. 

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard released the following statement Tuesday.

"Today, victims in this case received some closure.

My goal has - and will always be - to protect victims’ rights & privacy. We all worked diligently to help maintain the integrity of the case in order to secure a successful prosecution & to provide closure for the victims. We cooperated fully and are glad to see justice prevail.

Our prayers continue to be with those impacted."

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