Judge Erika Sledge sentenced Cynthia Perkins to 41 years for her involvement in what can only be describe as heinous crimes.
Her sentence came after her mother, father and sister-in-law gave victims’ impact statements on behalf of Cynthia. Three victims also provided statements.
Her sentence is as follows:
- 1 count 2nd degree rape (40 years at hard labor without benefit of parole with credit for time served)
- 1 count production of pornography involving juvenile under the age of 13 (30 years at hard labor concurrent without benefit of parole with credit for time served)
- 1 count conspiracy of mingling harmful (1 year at hard labor consecutive with credit for time served)
She will be required to register as a sex offender for life.
Perkins was originally facing 72 charges. Just as jury selection was slated to begin, she chose to take a plea deal on Feb. 14, 2022.
Along with her family who testified on her behalf, Perkins spoke out:
“I just want to apologize. I want to tell you I’m sorry. I want to tell the entire parish of Livingston Parish I’m sorry. I want to tell my friends, my co-workers I’m sorry. I want to tell my family, my mom and dad that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t come to y’all. I’m sorry. To my brother and sister-in-law, I love you.
Of course I want to apologize to the victims, I want to apologize to my students and everyone I ever taught because they now have to worry about what happened.
I would also like to apologize to my three children. I have not spoken to them in years. I cannot imagine the hurt they feel and the last person I would like to apologize to is the father of my children. My soul mate. I’m so sorry that you’re having to raise our children on your own. It’s not fair to you. You don’t deserve this and I’m sorry. And honestly there is nothing else to say at this point other than I am so sorry.”
(STORY CONTINUES BELOW)
The father of one of the juvenile victims read a note from the child:
“My life is so much better. I remember every time you hurt me and how scared I was to talk to you. I think of what my life would have been like with you still in it.
You’re a horrible and manipulating person.
You are a selfish and horrible person. I hope you’re ashamed of yourself and you rot in prison. I wrote this so you know you didn’t break me down.
You don’t deserve to be a mom or even be free. You will forever be known as the person who hurt me.”
The step-mother of one of the victims spoke as well:
“This abusive behavior began long before she met Dennis. These two people met each other.”
Perkins’ mother and father also spoke.
“My deepest apologizes to all the victims in the case. We as the defendant’s parents do not condone any of these acts of violence against the victims and we are also very sorry and apologetic to the child victim, the students and staff of West Side and really the entire parish of Livingston Parish. I don’t think there’s ever been any question of the guilt of Cynthia but we have always said it was done under distress.
When she had kids, her kids became her life.
All of a sudden she dropped off the face of the earth
She married Dennis and we stopped hearing from her. We also found out that Dennis physically abused her and that Cynthia was scared of Denny. The whole time they were together, we only saw Denny 4-5 times and I remember him bragging about all his law enforcement connections. Later I realized she was planting the seed in Cynthia’s minds.
I’m very sorry for all the victims. The primary victim is a member of our family who we love very much. I apologize to all the victims. I pray for their healing. Sorry to Judge Sledge. I’m sorry to even the prosecution that had to even look at all this filth. You shouldn’t have to look at those things. I’m even sorry to the defense team that had to view this garbage, especially sorry to the child victim number one whom we love dearly. My prayers are that everyone can move forward and we can all begin healing.
As a society, we are expected to protect our children.
As her father, I never taught her how to fight or use a gun. I never thought she would need those things. Instead she found herself in an abusive relationship with a SWAT leader with nowhere to turn. She had nowhere to turn. This should be mitigating factors when sentencing her. It doesn’t excuse the crime but I do think this needs to be factored in.
When she is sentenced today, her whole family will be sentenced. Some will say justice was served but true justice is served when it’s not made with anger or rage but with all the evidence and when a balanced and just decision is made.
I’m truly sorry to everyone who had to even listen to these horrible crimes and much less view the evidence and my prayer is we can begin the healing process.”
Her mother stepped up the podium crying through his testimony along with Perkins holding back tears as she sat in the courtroom.
“You may think you know Cynthia Perkins but you don’t know our Cynthia. Our Cynthia is a caring and loving person that is loved by all that knows her. Why have we loved and supported her through all this? Because our Cynthia would never have done what all has come up.
She was mentally and physically controlled by Dennis Perkins.
I just ask that you see my Cynthia from my eyes, from my heart and know that she’s not the person that she’s been made out to be. I love her and I will always love her, support her and believe in her.”
Cynthia’s ex-best friend sent in a letter that was read by the Attorney General’s Office.
“You were one of my best friends. I trusted you with my life. I loved you but I know without a doubt that you knew this already.
I know in my heart you used my empathy for domestic violence to get me to your home for deceitful violence.
I will live with this guilt.”
Perkins’ sister-in-law also spoke up:
“I’m heartbroken when I see the person sitting here today and I see devastation in her eyes.
She’s a sister, a protector and a fighter. So how did we get here? A true monster with Dennis Perkins. A person who vowed to serve and protect but did the exact opposite. To the victims and their family, I’m sorry we couldn’t stop it.”
Judge Sledge closed out by telling both families, “I understand that Mrs. Perkins will always be your child and I understand this is difficult for you. I can’t imagine what this whole process has been like for you. I hope for the juvenile victim, this has given her some sense of closure.”
Perkins will get credit for time served. She was arrested in late 2019 so she’s served nearly 2.5 years of her 41 year sentence.
Dennis Perkins’ trial is expected to begin in May 2022.
*Note: Some of what was said/read during court has been excluded to protect the identity of the victims from being released.