Jury Selection begins Tuesday in trial for alleged mistress of Dennis Perkins

Trial for Melanie Curtin starting soon
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 7:09 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Jury Selection starts Tuesday morning at the Livingston Parish Courthouse for Melanie Curtin.

The trial could potentially have some implications, in the separate cases against former high-ranking Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Perkins, and his former school teacher wife Cynthia.

Prosecutors say Melanie Curtin was Dennis Perkins’ mistress.

Curtin was indicted back in early 2020, for aggravated rape and video voyeurism.

After investigators say they uncovered a 17-minute video of her assisting Dennis Perkins, in allegedly raping a drugged and incapacitated woman.

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Dennis Perkins dressing room sex video can be used in Curtin trial, judge rules

Dennis Perkins and Cynthia Perkins, are also both charged for a number of sex crimes, including crimes against children. Their trials are set for 2022.

“It’s a preview, it’s a prequel if you will, to what those cases are going to be like,” said Franz Borghardt, legal commentator and criminal defense attorney.

Pre-trial motions began on Monday. With prosecutors and Curtin’s attorney, John McLindon, meeting at the Livingston Parish Courthouse to hash out the upcoming trial details.

Earlier this year, McLindon told WAFB, “There’s going to be evidence that Ms. Curtin was drugged and that she has absolutely no recollection of any of this taking place.

“So she (Curtin) is using the same defense it appears that Mrs. Perkins is using. That I’m a victim too, and if I’m a victim too, you can’t find me criminally liable,” said Borghardt.

Curtin’s trial was supposed to start in June, but was delayed.

After prosecutors informed the defense that they had discovered new evidence in the case, a cell phone.

The judge then agreed to delay the trial, since the defense had not been given time to review the potential new evidence.

“So, it’s a different kind of trial than hey I didn’t do this, it wasn’t me. It’s yes, but this is reason why under the law I shouldn’t be convicted,” said Borghardt.

Borghardt weighs in on what the defense will have to prove to a jury.

“And then they (the jury) have to be able to put themselves in the shoes of somebody in her boat. And say, if i was in her boat, was this behavior such that I would’ve done the same thing,” said Borghardt.

He believes there’s only one option.

“I think she (Curtin) will want to testify. The jury is going to want to hear her story, want to hear her say, that these two or one of these guys, made me do it. But for that, I never would’ve done such a horrible thing,” said Borghardt.

While the separate trials for Dennis and his former wife Cynthia Perkins could be a little more high profile, Borghardt believes both of their lawyers could be paying attention to what’s brought up in court.

“For Cynthia Perkins, what it does is, it allows her to see, whether or not this, I’m a victim too defense, plays out in the court of law. Because that’s the defense she’s going to be using,” said Borghardt.

Judge Brian Abels will preside over the case.

Jury Selection begins at 9:00 Tuesday morning at the Livingston Parish Courthouse.

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