Former JPSO employee accused of child sex abuse - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Former JPSO employee accused of child sex abuse

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Harvey, La. - People who live in a normally quiet Harvey neighborhood are shocked.

"I guess it's the reason why most people keep their kids in the yard and don't let them ride their bikes around the neighborhood. You just don't know these things are happening," says Roy Fitch.

Their neighbor, 52 year old John Cerniglia is in jail on multiple counts of aggravated rape, sexual battery and pornography involving juveniles.

"The victim's mother came in because her daughter had written her a note about this abuse. She's now 12 years old and said this abuse started when she was five years old with Mr. John Cerniglia taking nude pictures of her," says Glen Boyd, spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.

Detectives say the girl told them Cerniglia started to have sex with her when she was about 9 years old.

"She was then asked when was the last time she had intercourse with Cerniglia and she said two weeks ago which would have been somewhere around June 7th," says Boyd.

Detectives say they then talked to the girl's younger sister who is 5 years old. They say the little girl told detectives Cerniglia touched her inappropriately too.

Investigators got a warrant for Cerniglia's arrest and they searched his home on MacArthur Boulevard.

"What they found was videotapes, DVDs and all sorts of audio equipment. Right now that equipment is going under forensic review," says Boyd.

Their investigation is still on-going. They say during the interview process Cerniglia admitted to having sex with the 12 year old.

They say he went on to admit to similar activities with three additional young victims, but detectives believe there are even more who haven't come forward.

Cerniglia is a former employee of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office who worked as an assistant supervisor in the National Crime Information Center.

He left the department in October of 2005.

Neighbors say Cerniglia kept to himself and lived alone. Now, after hearing what detectives say Cerniglia did, neighbors are on edge.

"I'm glad he's caught. I think neighbors need to keep an eye out on where their kids are going and what they are doing," says Fitch.

If you think your child may have come in contact with Cerniglia, call crimestoppers at 822-1111.

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