AG’s office wants to submit more evidence in case against former St. John judge

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AG’s office wants to submit more evidence in case against former St. John judge

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The state says outside of the indictments former St. John Parish Judge Jeff Perilloux faces, there are more incidents where he inappropriately touched and messaged underage teenage girls.

In a hearing Wednesday (Sept. 19), where Perilloux appeared briefly, the attorney general’s office argued that those incidents should be part of their case.

In June, a grand jury indicted him on three felony counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one misdemeanor count of sexual battery.

The state wants to bring in more information outside of those indictments regarding other incidents where they say Perilloux attempted to act as “a father figure for his daughters' lifelong underage friends. These incidents include a Florida trip and pictures and text messages he sent the girls.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti says the move is about establishing behavior.

“The government filed a notice to the court they want to bring into evidence things that usually wouldn’t get in, but under 404 B rule of evidence and the Prieur case, these things are intended to show a prior pattern of behavior, and because of that they are admissible,” Raspanti said.

Court documents show that on a trip to Florida, Perilloux wouldn’t allow the girls to stay out past curfew. When one of the 15-year-old girls went back to ask again, she told investigators that Perilloux placed his hand under her T-shirt and his fingers inside her bikini bottoms. She was visibly upset, told her friends and then contacted her parents to pick her up. She says she was preparing to leave to meet her parents the next day when Perilloux asked “Are we cool about what happened the other day?”

The girl’s parents filed a report with the local sheriff’s office, but they didn’t press charges. Perilloux claimed he may have inadvertently touched her while reaching for his cell phone in the dark.

“I’m sure the government still feels they have pretty good evidence, and if they get to bring in other stuff in bringing in this pattern of behavior they feel they have a stronger case," Raspanti said. "But the Florida stuff they want to bring in was filed not to be very good in Florida. In fact, Florida basically found no probable cause to generate an arrest, so that’s what the defense will be bringing in to keep it from going to court.”

The state also wants to bring in text messages and pictures prosecutors say Perilloux sent to a couple of his daughter’s teenage friends. They include:

· a photo of his naked legs from the thighs down with heart emojis

· a picture shot from underneath one of the teenagers who is climbing above, wearing loose-fitting short shorts

· a video where he is laying on the couch with a 15-year-old, his head on her upper thigh

“It’s going to be whether these young ladies are believed from what they say now, and maybe if this Prieur motion is granted if there’s a pattern of behavior and that gets in,” said Raspanti.

Findings from Perilloux’s misdemeanor sexual battery charge may also be submitted for evidence.

Documents describe a 2017 event when Perilloux allegedly rubbed vapor rub on his daughter’s 18-year-old friend, "going very low on her chest and touching the sides of her breasts without her consent.”

The state also wants to introduce two other incidents, one involving giving money to a teen and another buying alcohol.

The judge did not rule on submitting the evidence today.

That hearing is scheduled for November.

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