Ex St. John judge Jeff Perilloux gets 14 years in prison after being convicted on three counts of indecent behavior with juveniles and one misdemeanor sexual battery charge. His victims were 14, 15, and 17-years old at the time crimes were committed.
Jeff Perilloux, the Baptist Parish judge who was convicted last month on four sex charges for molesting several of his daughters’ teenage friends in various episodes in 2017 was sentenced on Monday to 14 years in prison.
In the weeklong trial last month, four accusers testified to Jeff touching them inappropriately, whether it was applying sunscreen or vapor rub over their chests and bodies or, according to one victim, holding his hand over her breast during a back massage. While Perilloux denied touching any of the girls, who he said were like daughters to him.
“Awful, hideous and reprehensible,” Ad hoc Judge Dennis Waldron described Jeff’s crime while delivering the sentence.
The victims all took the witness stand during the trial, tearfully testifying about Jeff’s flirting, offering massages and escalating to touching their private parts. The victims brought jurors to tears during their testimony.
All the incidents for which Jeff Perilloux was convicted of took place at his home in LaPlace during his first year on the bench. Perilloux resigned from the bench one week after he was convicted. In the two years leading up to his trial, Perilloux has been suspended with pay as judge of the 40th Judicial District but had nevertheless qualified to run to keep his seat in the Nov. 3 election.
Dennis Waldron ripped Perilloux over what he described as a “methodical process” in befriending the girls, hosting sleepovers, and chaperoning them on cruise and beach vacations. Waldron called it “the classic, textbook example of grooming.”
While reading from 28 pages of handwritten notes, Waldron praised the 4 teen accusers for coming forward and providing consistent accounts of their encounters with their friend’s “creepy” dad.
“He appears to be a very troubled man as I look into his eyes,” Waldron said. He called Perilloux’s testimony from the witness stand last month, bold…brash….self-confident and self-serving and ultimately unconvincing.”
Waldron called it a case of “a divorced, middle-aged male who found himself in the company of these teenage girls, these teenage school girls. “
But Waldron said he was most disturbed by a comment that one of the girls had reported Perilloux uttering to her in private conversation. Perilloux asked the girl to name her favorite dirty word, she reported to an interviewer; when she couldn’t say it, he quickly offered up his own. Waldron spelled out the work, which begins with “p” (a coarse term for the vagina)
“The road was not easy to travel, but today we finally arrived to justice for the young victims. This trauma has been exacerbated by Mr. Perilloux’s continued refusal to admit and/or take responsibility for what he did to these young women… But I hope the sentence issued today will bring some comfort to the survivors and their families.” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. While Jeff Landry’s office praised the sentence, they asked for a 20-year prison stint.
As Jeff Perilloux met his family members last time before his time in prison, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Debres said “it was never a case that probation would be appropriate for.”
Defense attorney Jim William said that Perilloux has no remorse, “None whatsoever. He told us early on, he’d rather spend the rest of his life in Angola than plead guilty to something he didn’t do.”
Jeff Perilloux had qualified in July to run again for his seat, pleading to clear his name at trial before the Nov. 3 election. His name still appears on the ballot, and the election officials say votes for his will count in a race against attorneys Leandre Millet and Nghana Lewis.
Waldron said the damage to the girls included “the loss of innocence, idealism and trust in others.”
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