Guilty on all counts

Published 6:30 pm Saturday, September 12, 2020

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The final verdict was read today in Edgard at the 40th Judicial District Court with an outburst of jeers and tears from observers in the courtroom, as Judge Perilloux was found guilty of all counts. Sentencing will come at a later date.

Since 2017 an open investigation of sexual misconduct of three young teenage girls in the case against Judge Jeff Perilloux of St. John the Baptist Parish came to an end after the jury deliberated for only two hours. Judge Perilloux was charged in 2017 with three felony counts of indecent behavior and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

Since May 2018 Judge Perilloux has been on paid leave, which was a longer period of time than he actually served on the bench.

Although the trial was delayed on six different occasions, Judge Perilloux’s fate was finally decided unanimously by a jury of his peers this afternoon.

Jim Williams, attorney for the defense, gave closing arguments for over an hour, trying to persuade the jury that the prosecution was filled with inconsistencies and lies.

Prosecuting attorney for the state, Matt Derbes, in his rebuttal, painted a picture of deception by the defense team, calling Perilloux a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Derbes also stressed to the jury that regardless of Judge Perilloux’s community standing, and power as a judge, he should be judged the same as anyone else.

The judge presiding over the trial, Dennis Waldron, instructed the jury and dismissed them to deliberate at approximately 11:15 a.m., and they returned at approximately 1:15 p.m. with the guilty verdict on all counts.

By Andrew Fehn and Renee Tye