Melanie Curtin
Melanie Curtin

Louisiana Supreme Court denies AG’s appeal | ‘Melanie Curtin is a free woman’

LIVINGSTON — “Melanie Curtin is a free woman” after the Louisiana Supreme Court denied an appeal by the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office requesting to overturn the First Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in her case.

It comes after the Appeal’s Court ruled in Oct. 2023 that Melanie Curtin’s aggravated rape conviction would not stand. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, who prosecuted the case, appealed the First Circuit’s ruling to a higher court, the Supreme Court. On April 23, 2024, the Louisiana Supreme denied the Attorney General’s request. They did not provide any reasons why the request was denied.

“I feel extremely happy and excited to know that the Louisiana Supreme Court felt the same way the majority of us did that an innocent woman was locked up for life for a crime she never committed and now, Melanie Curtin is a free woman and can get her life back,” said the Curtin family’s investigative consultant Jim Rathmann.

What this means is now is that the Attorney General’s Office can choose to take Curtin back to court and retry it as a brand new case or they drop everything all together.

UWK did reach out to the AG’s office for a response. “We just received the Supreme Court’s ruling on our writ application. We are going to evaluate it and make a decision as to how we will proceed,” said the AG Office’s Press Secretary Lester Duhe.

Curtin became linked to Dennis and Cynthia Perkins, a Livingston Parish couple that gained national attention for their sex crimes involving children, though her courtroom battles diverge significantly from the Perkins’ legal entanglement.

While Curtin’s arrest coincided with that of Dennis and Cynthia Perkins, her case was centered around a specific incident on November 8, 2014, involving an adult woman and Dennis Perkins.

Curtin was convicted in 2021 of raping the adult woman with Perkins’ involvement and was sentenced to life behind bars by Livingston Parish Judge Brian Abels in March 2022. Following her conviction, numerous questions arose about the exclusion of crucial evidence during the trial. One pivotal piece of evidence highlighted that the woman allegedly raped that night had previously engaged in group sex acts, a fact in contrast to her testimony.

Dennis Perkins opted for a plea deal instead of going to trial, resulting in a 100-year sentence for him on 78 charges related to rape, attempted rape, and child pornography production.

Notably, the original aggravated rape charge, for which Curtin was serving a life sentence, was no longer applicable after Perkins’s guilty plea omitted it.

For Melanie Curtin to be found guilty of aggravated rape, the involvement of another party, in this case Dennis Perkins, is crucial. With Perkins’s guilty plea excluding the aggravated rape charge, the case against Curtin lost its foundation.

Consequently, in October 2023, the First Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the aggravated rape charge, leading to a new trial for Curtin. She was granted bond and has been out of prison since then, awaiting the Louisiana Supreme Court’s decision on whether she should be granted a new trial.

In February, a judge approved Melanie Curtin’s request to move out of Louisiana.

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One Response

  1. This case continues to fascinate me. Our legal/justice system is so screwed up. The police often do not want to hear both sides and be impartial and fair! It makes you question can anyone get a fair trial?? I really feel Dennis Perkins was guilty as hell. But how could his ex wife just stand by lie and let Melanie go to prison for life? Sad situation!

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