NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office on Tuesday secured the convictions of four men responsible for the brutal robbery of two French Quarter tourists that drew national attention in June 2017.
Pleading guilty as charged to two counts of second-degree robbery were Dejuan Paul, 22; Rashaad Piper, 21; Nicholas Pogozelski, 19; and Joshua Simmons, 19. The guilty pleas were entered before Criminal District Judge Camille Buras.
The two male victims of the robbery were visiting from Boston, attending the annual general assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The men were walking in the 200 block of Bienville Street shortly before 9 p.m. when they were charged and knocked to the ground from behind. The attack, which left one victim in critical condition with an acute brain injury, was captured on video surveillance footage that soon was broadcast nationwide.
The victims wrote letters that were read into the court record pleading for leniency for their attackers. Prosecutors took no position on sentencing, as the guilty-as-charged pleas require sentencing at the discretion of the judge. Buras imposed the following sentences:
Dejuan Paul: 15 years in DOC custody, with 7 years suspended and 5 years of active probation
Rashaad Piper: 15 years DOC custody, with 10 years suspended and 5 years of active probation
Nicholas Pogozelski: 15 years DOC custody, with 10 years suspended and 5 years of active probation
Joshua Simmons: 3 years DOC custody
Cannizzaro released the following statement:
Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Livanos prosecuted the case.