Judge allows embattled St. Bernard Parish president to stay on street

Judge allows embattled St. Bernard Parish president to stay on street

CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta was back in court Wednesday as prosecutors tried to revoke his bail.

Peralta was indicted in April on sexual battery after his now ex-wife Sharon Schaefer accused him of raping her. Peralta denies that claim. He has said publicly that they willingly engaged in bondage sex.

Then in September, Peralta was indicted in St. Tammany Parish on allegations he engaged in cyber stalking against Schaefer. Again, Peralta denied that accusation.

Prosecutors from the Louisiana Attorney General's Office wanted his bond increased, revoked or Peralta placed on house arrest. But the judge denied that, and he warned Peralta that he and his ex-wife should have no contact.

Peralta and his attorney left the courthouse with little comment because of a gag order.

"We're restricted by the judge to not make any comments to the press. If you were in the courtroom, I think you heard everything that we can say you today," attorney Martin Regan said.

In another win for Peralta, the judge canceled his previous change of venue order for the sexual battery trial. Peralta's previous attorney wanted the trial held elsewhere, Regan said Peralta wants to be tried in St. Bernard Parish.

The judge said that is fine by him as long as they can seat a jury.

Meanwhile, Prosecutors told the judge they plan to question members of the media who Peralta spoke to about the allegations before there was a gag order in place. The judge did not seem to have a problem with that.

Another hearing is set for Dec. 15. The judge said he would like to have the trial around February, but no firm date has been set.

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