Perilloux sentencing scheduled

Published 8:19 am Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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EDGARD — The sentencing of E. Jeffrey Perilloux is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15 at the Edgard Courthouse.

Last month, Perilloux was convicted of three felony counts of indecent behavior involving juveniles and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery at the conclusion of a six-day jury trial in Edgard.

The investigation into Perilloux’s conduct dates back to July 2017.

Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894.1 provides that when a defendant has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, the court should impose a sentence of imprisonment if there is an undue risk that during the period of a suspended sentence or probation that defendant will commit another crime, or if a lesser sentence will deprecate the seriousness of the defendant’s crime.

The Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 894.1 provides further guidance on the consideration of a sentence.

In accordance with this article, the Attorney General’s Office maintains Perilloux knew or should have known the victims were particularly vulnerable due to youth. The AG’s Office also maintains that Perilloux used his position as an elected official to establish trust and facilitate and conceal crimes.

The AG’s Office recommends Perilloux be sentenced to 6 ½ years of imprisonment on each felony sex offense and six months on the misdemeanor sexual battery, with sentences running consecutively for a total sentence of 20 years.

“Sex offenses against children are the most serious of crimes which cause permanent psychological harm,” Attorney General Jeff Landry said. “Said harm has been exacerbated by the defendant’s continued refusal to admit and/or take responsibility for what he did to these young women, who were children when these crimes were committed.”

It should be noted that recent criminal justice reforms only require the defendant to serve between 50 and 75 percent of his actual sentence.

Judge Dennis Waldron presided over Perilloux’s trial in September.

Perilloux had been on leave from Div. B of the 40th Judicial Court since allegations were made public in summer 2018.

Only the Louisiana Supreme Court may discipline a judicial officer, but the Court may do so only on the basis of a recommendation by the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana. The Judiciary Commission is a separate entity that has the authority to evaluate, investigate and make recommendations regarding judicial misconduct.

Community members have questioned whether Perilloux will now have to pay back the salary he collected while on leave from the bench for more than two years.

Trina S. Vincent, public information specialist for the community relations department of the Louisiana Supreme Court, stated, “payment of salary during a period of interim disqualification is required by the Louisiana Constitution, Article V, Section 25.”

This article provides that, on recommendation from the Judiciary Commission, the Supreme Court may disqualify a judge from exercising judicial functions without loss of salary while proceedings are pending in the Supreme Court.

Therefore, Perilloux is not required by law to pay back his salary, as it was his Constitutional right to receive it.

Vincent said the U.S. Constitution and most state constitutions contain similar provisions.