St. Bernard president pleads not guilty to stalking - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

St. Bernard president pleads not guilty to stalking

COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) -

The president of St. Bernard Parish says he's not guilty of charges he stalked his wife while awaiting trial for her alleged sexual battery.

Dave Peralta entered his plea in Covington Monday morning. It's the latest chapter in the legal saga of the sitting parish president playing out this time in St. Tammany.

Peralta left the Covington courthouse moments after pleading not guilty to felony stalking charges alleging that he used computers to harass his ex-wife.

Peralta's attorney asked for and got more time to examine hard drives and other evidence taken from computers seized by the state attorney general earlier this year.

While Peralta faces a felony stalking charge in St. Tammany, he's also facing a sexual battery charge in St. Bernard. Four months ago, Peralta was indicted for allegedly forcing his then-wife to have sex with him.

In February, she told FOX 8's Lee Zurik: "Before I could close the door, he came back behind me ... and pushed me across the bed, and forced himself on me."

Dave Peralta said the sex was consensual. He has since been targeted by a couple of recall efforts as well as Parish Council measures to try and strip his presidential powers - measures which he vetoed - while he awaits trial.

"We're restricted from making comments, but I invite you to come to court," said Peralta attorney Martin Regan.

That will be as soon as next week, when state lawyers will attempt to have Peralta's bond revoked on the sexual battery charge due to the allegations that he violated court orders by attempting to contact his former wife. That next court hearing will be in St. Bernard Parish.

The next hearing on the stalking charge in St. Tammany will likely be pushed back into next year due to change in judges assigned to that case.

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