Matherne’s trial rescheduled for Feb. 22

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 11, 1999

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / December 11, 1999

NORCO – Brian Matherne’s trial on 24 counts of child molestation has been re-scheduled for Feb. 22 at 9 a.m. before 29th Judicial District JudgeRobert Chaisson.

At a hearing Wednesday, Matherne, 44, and his attorney, Corbett Ourso Jr.,asked for a continuance to allow Ourso to handle an unrelated first-degree murder case in Tangipahoa Parish.

Also, Assistant District Attorney Howat Peters deflected a motion by Ourso to suppress evidence gathered by police during searches at Matherne’s home and at a hunting camp in the LaBranche Wetlands when he reported there was “nothing of evidentiary nature” in the material.

The motion to suppress was therefore unnecessary, since those items will not be used in evidence.

Instead, Peters and Kim McElwee will rely on the testimony of 13 former students of Matherne, who had worked for 23 years as a teacher and coach at Sacred Heart School in Norco.

The incidents reportedly took place between June 1985 and June 1999, involving male students who ranged in age from 8 to 17. He was arrestedAug. 5, after his suspension from duties by the school.On Oct. 6, Matherne’s bond was reduced from $1.5 million to $1 million by29th Judicial District Judge Robert Chaisson. Matherne remains in theparish jail, isolated from other inmates for his own protection.

Matherne was indicted Aug. 23 by the parish grand jury on 19 counts offelony sexual abuse, including four counts of aggravated crime against nature. Additional charges of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile,attempted aggravated crime against nature, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and two counts each of molestation of a juvenile and sexual battery were added in October.

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