Ascension officers’ graphic testimony offers more details in alleged rape of 14-year-old by deputy _lowres

William Lanoux

GONZALES — A state district judge warned attorneys for a former Ascension Parish sheriff's detective accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl while on the job that they are running out of time to finish a plea agreement with prosecutors. 

Judge Jason Verdigets, of the 23rd Judicial District Court, told lawyers for William Lanoux on Monday that he would move back the date one more time to accept pleas or, if no deal is reached, send the case to trial.

"At some point, we've got to move it," Verdigets said.

Former sheriff's detective William Lanoux, 32, has been charged on counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile and malfeasance in office.

Deputies arrested him in June 2016 over allegations he picked up the teen in his sheriff's SUV and had sex with the girl in the vehicle on June 13, 2016. They stopped after he heard sheriff's dispatchers report on a teen who ran away from a location near where he had picked her up.

Sheriff Jeff Wiley fired Lanoux, 39116 Balmoral Drive, Prairieville, the next day. Lanoux has pleaded not guilty to the charges, maintaining he believed the girl was 18 at the time and that the sex was consensual.

Lanoux and the girl had set up the rendezvous through a social media application in which the girl listed her age at 18, according to court testimony last year.

Lanoux, who was present in court Monday, is free on bail. 

Verdigets granted the continuance Monday until Feb. 15 after defense attorney Jarrett Ambeau told him the two sides are "very close" to reaching a deal.

Assistant District Attorney Joni Buquoi told Verdigets that defense attorneys rejected an offer to drop the malfeasance count and have Lanoux plead guilty to a count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile with a one-year prison sentence. Lanoux also would have had to register as a sex offender for 15 years.

In a later interview, Ambeau maintained that deal was not rejected but the two sides are working on the details.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.