Update: Judge indicted for sexual misconduct with minors; Perilloux denies accusations

Published 4:35 pm Monday, June 25, 2018

EDGARD — Authorities say on four occasions from May to December 2017, Elzey Jeffrey Perilloux assaulted a juvenile in a sexual manner in St. John the Baptist Parish.

In total, police and prosecutors are alleging three victims were targeted.

Perilloux, 51, the elected 40th Judicial District Court Division “B” Judge for St. John Parish, denied the charges through a comment from his attorney, David Courcelle.

“Judge Perilloux maintains that he has done nothing improper and that he will vigorously defend himself against these allegations,” Courcelle told L’OBSERVATEUR.

According to Courcelle, he and his client are looking forward to reviewing the “alleged evidence” against Perilloux and preparing the judge’s defense.

When reached by L’OBSERVATEUR this week, Perilloux said he was not making any detailed comments, adding he had not reviewed the information presented to the grand jury.

Perilloux deferred additional comment to Courcelle.

A grand jury returned a four-count true bill indictment Monday afternoon, charging Perilloux with three felony counts of indecent behavior and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

According to the AG’s office, authorities are waiting on the warrant to be signed. Perilloux was expected to turn himself into police for arrest.

The indictment indicates once in May and twice in June, Perilloux engaged in indecent behavior with a juvenile by committing a lewd or lascivious act upon the person or in the presence of a child under the age of 17 with the intention of arousing or gratifying his sexual desires.

It is also alleged that in December 2017, Perilloux committed misdemeanor sexual battery when he intentionally touched the breasts of the victim using his hands without consent of the victim.

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office is handling prosecution of the case. A spokesperson for the AG’s office would not comment beyond the indictment so as to not jeopardize the prosecution.

The AG’s office received the investigation materials from Louisiana State Police.

According to court documents, the true bill indictments were received at 2:12 p.m. Monday into the court record.

It is believed the Louisiana Supreme Court will appoint an ad hoc judge to preside over Perilloux’s case as it proceeds to trial or other resolution.

On Leave

Perilloux has been “on leave” from the bench since voluntarily stepping down May 16 following published accounts of multiple criminal investigations into his behavior with underage females.

Judge Mary Hotard Becnel was appointed ad hoc and is handling the duties of Division B during Perilloux’s leave.

Becnel’s term was scheduled to last through June and could extend because of this week’s developments from the grand jury.

Perilloux’s legal status has been tenuous since news broke in May about criminal investigations by two law enforcement agencies into allegations of improper sexual advances made toward underage females.

Authorities with Louisiana State Police and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office in Florida have interviewed numerous teenage girls, some of who are friends of Perilloux’s daughter, and received complaints from multiple individuals who said Perilloux inappropriately touched them.

Perilloux “categorically” denies the allegations.

“I will spend every nickel that I have to defend myself and my family on these allegations,” he said six weeks ago. “I am not a wealthy man, but I will spend every penny that I have to defend (myself) from these allegations.”

The investigations are at least 11 months old, as Okaloosa authorities began their investigation into Perilloux when they were first notified July 15, 2017, of a criminal complaint.

Perilloux was chaperoning a beach vacation in Florida at the time, which included his daughter and her friends. One of Perilloux’s daughter’s friends accused the judge of inappropriately touching her when the two were alone and she was asking to extend their curfew.

Officials with Okaloosa County told L’OBSERVATEUR previously that evidence collecting and witness interviewing is complete and a decision on charges was tied to moves by authorities in Louisiana.

On Monday, an Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said the Louisiana grand jury’s decision was separate from their investigation and a decision on Florida charges is pending.

The work by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and information sharing with Louisiana State Police led to a wider scale investigation of Perilloux, where State Police investigators reviewed alleged inappropriate behavior in St. John Parish that impacted numerous underage females. The local charges led to this week’s grand jury indictments.


Perilloux was elected judge in December 2016 and began serving the following month after capturing 55 percent of the turnout to defeat a runoff challenge from attorney Nghana Lewis Gauff.

The election was necessary to fill the unexpired term of departing Judge Becnel.

The 40th Judicial District Court covers St. John the Baptist Parish and is divided into three divisions — A, B and C — with one judge presiding in each division.

The general jurisdiction court hears civil, criminal, traffic, juvenile, family and probate matters.

Perilloux was elected to Division B, Judge Madeline Jasmine to Division A and Judge J. Sterling Snowdy to Division C.

Perilloux has previously served for a dozen years as an assistant district attorney in St. John Parish. He was also a legal counsel representative for St. John the Baptist Parish Government.