Accused child abuser gets bond; defense, prosecution point fingers
LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A Livingston Parish man booked into jail for charges related to sexually assaulting children over several years has been granted bond in the amount of $250,000, multiple sources confirm to the WAFB I-TEAM. The suspect in the case, John Mack, of Independence, was indicted on multiple counts of rape, sexual battery, and indecent behavior with a juvenile.
Mack’s defense attorney, John McClendon, explains that the trial has been moved to July 10. McClendon added that Mack will be required to wear an ankle monitor and stay on house arrest while he is out on bond.
Sources told the I-TEAM that state prosecutors delayed hearings on the matter, so at McClendon’s request, Mack was awarded bond so that he would not sit in jail while the case moved through the court system.
“He’s an old guy in bad health. The judge saw that,” McClendon said about his elderly client.
The case is being handled by Louisiana Attorney General’s Office after District Attorney Scott Perrilloux recused his office due to the “politically sensitive nature of the case.”
Late Tuesday night, Leon Cannizzaro, Criminal Division Director for the Louisiana Department of Justice accused Mclendon of misrepresenting the cause of the delays.
“We disagree with the defense attorney’s assessment as he has skewed the facts to fit his narrative. We were prepared to go to trial in May and stand ready to do so; unfortunately, the defense attorney requested a continuance and got the trial pushed back further,” Cannizarro told the I-TEAM.
“At yesterday’s bond hearing, we presented evidence that highlighted our concern for the safety of the victim(s) and the public. Additionally, within three days of verifying the discovery information, we turned it over to defense counsel. Anything insisting otherwise is spin,” added Cannizarro.
State Sen. Regina Barrow who chairs a state child welfare committee, also weighed in on this latest development.
“Because the committee has held several hearings regarding the particulars with this case and concerns that arose with the Department of Children and Family Services, we want to ensure the proper safeguards are put in place to protect the victims and their families,” she said in a statement.
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