CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - The sex assault trial against St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta is moving forward with a trial date set for April 20.
Friday in court, a judge ordered a large box of potential evidence in the case unsealed. The state will review it, and faces a March 2 deadline to introduce any of the evidence to trial.
The judge also denied the state's request for a stay in this case. All of this relating to the allegations brought forth from Peralta's ex-wife, Sharon Schaefer, that Peralta raped her in the couple's Meraux home in October of 2013, a charge Peralta denies. Peralta has maintained the sex was consensual.
The court will immediately send notices to 300 potential jurors, but there is concern among Peralta's attorneys he will not get a fair trial.
The judge also expressed similar concerns in being able to seat a jury because of the high interest in this case, but said the trial will proceed nonetheless.
The trial is under a gag order, as neither the state nor the defense is allowed to talk to the media.
Peralta also faces a felony stalking charge in St. Tammany Parish and a grand jury is also investigating malfeasance charges against Peralta in his role as parish president.