Judge Perilloux’s sexual assault trial won’t be set until May

Published 12:15 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

LAPLACE — The criminal trial for St. John the Baptist Parish Judge E. Jeffrey Perilloux, originally scheduled to begin March 11, has been postponed to determine whether evidence introduced by prosecutors will be admissible in court.

During a Tuesday afternoon court hearing in LaPlace, Judge Dennis Waldron set the next status hearing for May 7 to accommodate an uncertain timeline for pretrial appeal expected to reach the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Legal teams anticipate a new trial date will be set May 7.

Perilloux, 51, pleaded not guilty in July 2018 to three felony counts of indecent behavior and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery involving alleged contact with teenage victims between May and December 2017.

The St. John Clerk of Court reported the misdemeanor trial would be conducted contemporaneously with the felony trial.

The state, led by attorney Matthew B. Derbes of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Office, alleges Perilloux gave massages and rubbed sunscreen and medicinal lotion near the breasts and other body parts of underage girls in his St. John Parish home.

During a November hearing, Waldron ruled photos, videos, text messages and other evidence presented by the state would be admissible in the upcoming trial.

According to Waldron, additional allegations would be allowed in court if it aids the prosecution’s argument that Perilloux maintained a lustful disposition toward the victims.

Perilloux’s defense, led by attorney David Courcelle, filed a writ asking the State of Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal to overturn Waldron’s decision. The decision is expected to go to the Louisiana Supreme Court through a writ from the prosecution, if Waldron’s decision is overturned, or a writ from the defense if the decision is upheld.

No timeline has been given for appellate review as of press time Friday morning.

Perilloux’s defense, led by attorney David Courcelle, did not respond to requests for comment.

Perilloux said he could not comment on the case Thursday morning, adding statements would be deferred to his legal team.

In previous comments to L’OBSERVATEUR, Perilloux has maintained his innocence.

During Tuesday’s hearing, the state announced it had retained a child forensics expert to speak on molestation, grooming and delayed disclosure.

The alleged victims are also expected to testify in court.

The state offered no further comment this week.

“Unfortunately, as this is an ongoing criminal prosecution, we are going to withhold any comment at this time,” a spokesperson with the AG’s Office said.


A grand jury returned a four-count true bill indictment June 25 charging Perilloux with three felony counts of indecent behavior and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, the misdemeanor charge involves a December 2017 incident with an 18-year-old victim while she was at a sleepover with Perilloux’s daughter.

When the 18-year-old claimed she was not feeling well, Perilloux opted to apply vapor rub to the victim, allegedly reaching under her shirt and touching the sides of her breasts as he applied the medicine.

The Louisiana prosecution contends the vapor rub incident took place after Florida authorities confronted Perilloux about inappropriate contact with a 15-year-old during a June 2017 vacation.

The 15-year-old and Perilloux’s daughter allegedly approached Perilloux as he was lying in the bedroom of a vacation condo to ask about a curfew extension.

According to the prosecution, once Perilloux’s daughter left the room, Perilloux placed his hand under the minor’s T-shirt and slipped his fingers into her bikini bottom.

In separate incidents reported to have occurred between May and June of 2017, Perilloux was said to have given an alleged victim two massages, at one point stroking her breasts.


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.

Perilloux was elected judge in December 2016 and began serving the following month following an election to fill the unexpired term of departing Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.

Perilloux previously served for 12 years as an assistant district attorney in St. John Parish. He was also a legal counsel representative for St. John the Baptist Parish Government.

Perilloux was arrested in 2010 for drunken driving.

The DWI was expunged, and prosecutors did not pursue additional charges.