Dennis Perkins agrees to plea to serve 100 years

“I would like to say I’m sorry. I hope that anybody that this affected finds hope and healing,” Dennis Perkins said.

Dennis Perkins agrees to plea
Dennis Perkins

One week before trial was scheduled to begin for former Livingston Parish deputy Dennis Perkins, 47, the once high-ranking deputy agreed to a plea to avoid trial.

He will now serve 100 years without the benefit of appeal, probation, or parole after he and his now ex-wife Cynthia Perkins were arrested on Oct. 23, 2019 for a combined 150 charges child sex abuse charges.

Dennis Perkins was indicted on 78 charges in Dec. 2019. Since then though, his trial date has been moved five times before Judge Erika Sledge said she would not postpone the latest trial date any further from its current Jan. 9, 2023 date.

The former LPSO SWAT Commander’s charges were as follows:

  • First-degree rape: 5 counts
  • Attempted first-degree rape: 1 count
  • Sexual battery of a child under age 13: 3 counts
  • Video voyeurism: 5 counts
  • Sexual abuse of an animal: 1 count
  • Mingling of harmful substances: 1 count
  • Obscenity: 1 count
  • Production of pornography involving juveniles: 61 counts

He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree rape, three counts of sexual battery of a child under age 13, mingling of harmful substances, two counts of video voyeurism, and 61 counts of production of child pornography under age 13.

Perkins is required to register as a sex offender.

Perkins, clad in the orange Livingston Parish Detention Center jumpsuit with a clean-shaven head and a white mask, sat quiet for most of the hearing.

After the plea deal was announced, a parent of one of the kids involved gave an impact statement.

“As parents & caregivers, it is our job to protect our kids from evil,” the mother said. “I am not sure if there’s anyone you care about besides yourself. But I hope you spend every day worrying about your own safety and the devastating effects of deplorable actions. You will no longer have control over your victims anymore. And in the end, you’re getting what you deserve. A victim impact statement means we’re victims. You see we are survivors. Three plus years later, I’m raising survivors, not victims. So here’s my statement. I’m so thankful to not have to sit in this courtroom with you or your attorney again. Have a nice life in prison.”

After consulting with Ambeau for about a minute, Perkins gave a brief statement part of which he wished for healing for those who were in involved.

“I would like to say I’m sorry. I spent more than three years living in a box. I just want to make the statement. Jesus Christ has forgiven me. I’m grateful for that. I hope and pray that anybody that this has affected finds hope and healing,” Dennis Perkins said.

Jarrett Ambeau represented Dennis Perkins.

Barry Milligan was the lead prosecutor on the case from the Attorney General’s Office.

“We were able to get a win without putting the victims and this entire community through the rigors of this trial,” Milligan said.

Milligan said the defense reached out to them about a plea deal close to a week ago.

He said Tuesday’s plea keeps the disturbing evidence out of court.

“I mean it’s disturbing not just for the victims, but for the jurors who would have had to watch it. It would have been very disturbing,” he said. “That’s why I’m so happy that we were able to achieve what we did today without going through it.”

‘Today, victims in this case received some closure,” said Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard. “My goal has and will always be to protect victims’ rights & privacy. We all worked diligently to help maintain the integrity of the case in order to secure a successful prosecution & to provide closure for the victims. We cooperated fully and are glad to see justice prevail. Our prayers continue to be with those impacted.”

His ex-wife Cynthia, a Livingston Parish school teacher, pleaded guilty in Feb. 2022 to second-degree rape, production of pornography involving a juvenile under the age of 13 and mingling of harmful substances. She is serving a combined 41 years. A condition of her plea deal was that she agreed to be a witness for the Attorney General’s Office in the case against Dennis Perkins. The AG’s office did not initiate the offer but they did agree with the terms as did the juvenile victim in the case.

Their case made national headlines given their professional careers, a deputy and school teacher. Court documents said Dennis Perkins was “ejaculating on various pastries and into bottles of energy drinks” and then Cynthia would take them to her classroom and students have ingested those pastries and drinks.

Dennis Perkins was indicted for multiple counts of first-degree rape where he had oral sexual intercourse with children under the age of 13, recorded what he did to the kids and there were 61 counts of production of pornography involving children under the age of 13.

Cynthia Perkins was named in many of the court documents as assisting her then husband in several acts.

“I hope that anybody that this affected finds hope and healing”

Unrelated to any acts involving children, Melanie Curtin was arrested after the couple’s arrest. She did go through a week-long trial and is now serving life behind bars without the benefit of parole for helping Dennis Perkins in the rape of an adult woman on Nov. 8, 2014. She was found guilty of first-degree rape by a unanimous jury in Dec. 2021.

Curtin repeatedly requested a new trial and her attorneys continue to appeal the sentence.

First-degree rape in Louisiana carries a mandatory life in prison sentence.

Curtin has maintained that she has no memory of that night or event. However, prosecutors said the woman was unconscious at the time she was raped according to video evidence.

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