Teacher arrested in child rape investigation to remain jailed without bond
LIVINGSTON – In a series of interviews Wednesday, officials with ties to the disturbing child sex crime investigation involving a sheriff’s deputy and teacher insinuated there are numerous victims in the case.
Dennis Perkins and his wife Cynthia were arrested last week on dozens of sex crimes charges involving children. Dennis Perkins was, until he was arrested, a Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputy. Cynthia Perkins was a middle school teacher.
In an interview following a court hearing Wednesday morning that determined Dennis Perkins should be held without bond, prosecutors revealed they are in the process of contacting victims.
“We have our best people working around the clock. [We are] actively reaching out to known victims. We just ask them to be patient. We’re going to get through this,” prosecutor Matthew Derbes said.
In a simultaneous news conference, Sheriff Jason Ard repeatedly acknowledged “victims” tied to the case, but did not say how the victims – believed to be juveniles – are related or know Dennis and Cynthia Perkins.
“We have to be able to filter information in such a way that protects the identities of these kids,” Derbes said. “That’s the most important thing here.”
Since the Perkins’ arrest last week, authorities have shied away from linking specific victims or groups of victims to the case.
Case information Wednesday and at a hearing involving Cynthia Perkins Monday was shared with the judge in private and then sealed, which is allowed by law.
The Livingston Parish School System, where Cynthia Perkins was a teacher, has repeatedly referred questions to the Attorney General’s Office, which is prosecuting the case and where Derbes serves as an attorney.
Earlier this week, the AG’s office asked parents of children concerned that they may be victims to phone in tips or complaints to a tipline.
“We continue to encourage anyone who has information on criminal conduct or potential victims to call our office at 1-800-256-4506,” the AG’s office said in a statement.
Dennis Perkins’ defense attorney, David Bourland, called the concern over numerous juvenile victims “absurd” and said Perkins “is in an innocent man.”
“We will not try this case by media, hysteria or drama,” Bourland said as he walked away from reporters positioned outside the Livingston Parish Courthouse Wednesday morning.
At a separate hearing earlier in the week, Cynthia Perkins was also held without the ability to bond out of jail.
Additional hearings are scheduled for the couple in November and December.
Click here for WBRZ's initial report on the case.
Watch Chris Nakamoto's bombshell interview with a police officer who tried to report Dennis Perkins years ago HERE.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz