Barry Giglio said recently he was in shock after State Police investigators woke him early one morning in May, arrest warrants in hand.
The allegations in those warrants, as one of Giglio’s attorneys later would say, “were horrendous.”
Giglio, 57, his wife, Marla, 51, and six others were accused of forcing three young girls, ages 4, 5 and 7, to have sex with them inside a small mobile home in Church Point.
Attorney Donald L. “Chick” Foret, who represented the Giglios, called the allegations “the most serious” a businessman can face, which is another way of saying they’re the kind of allegations that can ruin both a life and a business.
News of the Giglios’ arrests spread quickly, leaving many in Ville Platte, where the couple live and own a business, shocked and confused.
Darlene Soileau, who works across the street from the couple’s restaurant, The Pig Stand, said in May she wondered how long the business would remain open, because “the whole town knows.”
On Sept. 9, Barry Giglio stood inside The Pig Stand with his wife, their two attorneys and a private investigator and addressed the media and community members about a grand jury’s recent decision not to pursue aggravated rape charges against him and his wife.
The grand jury also declined rape charges against Lawrence Sidney Ricks Jr., 35, of Ventress; Marty Blood, 42, and his wife, Brandy Blood, 27, both of St. Landry; John Wayne Stelly, 57, his wife, Alice Stelly, 55, both of Church Point; and their daughter, Jennifer Stelly, 31, of Ville Platte.
Barry Giglio said he and Marla Giglio had been cleared of the “false allegations” against them and they looked forward to working toward rebuilding their reputations.
Barry Giglio said he had no immediate plans to file a lawsuit against the agencies involved in the investigation.
Opelousas attorney Ed Lopez said the Giglios are now “free of any taint” associated with the case. The attorney said he hoped to one day know the motives behind the arrests, although he added the motives might never be known.
Neither he nor Foret committed to an answer on whether they planned to look further into the case.
Foret would say only that they might one day “conduct an autopsy of the investigation,” but he said the focus is on restoring his clients’ reputations and business, which has dropped by 75 percent since their arrests.
Asked how he could become wrapped up in a case like this, Giglio said he has since done some Internet research, and “You would not believe how many people are falsely accused of these type of charges.”
Getting an answer to those questions might take a bit longer, as the case remains active.
State Police Lt. Doug Cain said the arrest warrants were issued by a court after a thorough investigation that began with a complaint from the state Department of Children and Family Services.
“The grand jury’s decision was disappointing; however, we respect the process and have faith in the system,” Cain said.
Cain declined to go into specifics about the case, saying, “We are continuing to review information available to us and will take the appropriate action at the appropriate time.”
Cain said investigators “hope to meet with the district attorney again.”
The grand jury’s decision does not mean that the allegations cannot be brought back before another grand jury in the future.
Whether that will happen, though, remains unclear because the District Attorney’s Office has kept quiet about the case.
A news release announced the grand jury’s decision, but the office has declined to release any additional comments about the future of the case.
Meanwhile, separate and unrelated charges from different agencies also remain pending against Lawrence Ricks, and Marty and Brandy Blood.
Jason Brown covers law enforcement and courts for the Acadiana bureau. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.