Trial for Cynthia Perkins delayed, as new evidence drops against her husband Dennis
LIVINGSTON, La. (WAFB) - The trial for former school teacher Cynthia Perkins, originally scheduled to start in Livingston parish next week, has been postponed.
In a hearing Thursday afternoon, District Court Judge Erika Sledge agreed to a motion from Cynthia’s attorney to delay the trial.
She, along with her husband, former Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputy Dennis Perkins, are accused of multiple sex crimes including crimes against children.
But, a few of the charges against them may have to be thrown out, based on evidence prosecutors are just now handing over to the defense.
“We feel as though they should be dismissed and she (Cynthia) should have never been charged with this in the first place. And they’ve (prosecutors) had this evidence from the beginning,” said James Spokes, attorney for Cynthia Perkins.
Spokes told the judge Thursday that prosecutors from the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office just produced new evidence last week that could support his client’s defense that Dennis threatened and coerced her into taking part in the alleged criminal acts. And, Spokes said, he needs more time to review the new evidence.
It involves a woman prosecutors have dubbed “adult victim number one.” They say there’s a video of Dennis and Cynthia participating in the rape of that woman. But WAFB is told, that new photos just turned over to the defense show that same woman taking selfies with the couple, both before and after, as if she was a willing participant.
“That seriously call into question the consensualness, of whether or not this was a consensual act or rape,” said Spokes.
Spokes told the judge that the new evidence turned over to him includes photographs and videos of hundreds of women Dennis Perkins was having sex with. Spokes says he’s been able to determine that many of those same women had pending drug charges against them in Livingston Parish at the same time Dennis Perkins was in the Livingston Parish narcotics division. Spokes insinuated the woman agreed to have sex with Dennis Perkins in exchange for him helping them with the criminal charges against them.
“We feel like this closely aligns with our defense, in that Cynthia Perkins was forced, intimated and coerced, based on his position into committing things against her will, and things she would not have otherwise done,” said Spokes.
The attorney believes all this new evidence will actually help his client, Cynthia.
“This goes to my client’s ability to put on her defense,” Spokes told the judge.
But prosecutors say all of this, is just an attempt to distract from what they say is a solid case against the couple.
“The defense is trying every trick in the book to delay the inevitable here. But our goal is the same, we’re gonna get justice for the victims and we’re going to hold Dennis and Cynthia Perkins accountable for what they’ve done,” said Barry Milligan, prosecutor for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal on Wednesday, agreed to allow the upcoming trial for Dennis Perkins, to be postponed due to his attorney having another trial at the same time.
That trial was set to begin next week, with Cynthia’s trial following at a later date.
Prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office said late Wednesday, since Dennis’ trial is delayed, they hoped to start Cynthia’s trial next week.
Dennis Perkins, a former high-ranking Livingston parish sheriff’s deputy, is accused of multiple charges including rape and producing child pornography.
His wife, Cynthia, is currently set be tried in a separate trial from him.
Judge Sledge previously ruled that Dennis and Cynthia could be tried separately. Prosecutors, who wanted a combined trial, asked the First Circuit to overturn that decision but the court did not.
Both trials have now been delayed. Prosecutors originally said they planned to try Dennis Perkins first, but during Thursday’s pre-trial hearing, they changed their mind, and said Cynthia will go first.
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