A State Police captain has been cleared of misconduct allegations after the estranged wife of St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta filed a complaint over the officer’s handling of a probe into allegations that Peralta brutally raped her in late October.
In an April 22 letter, Maj. Catherine Flinchum, head of the Louisiana State Police’s Internal Affairs Division, informed Capt. Kevin Devall that “after a thorough investigation,” he had been exonerated of the complaint. The probe found that his actions were “lawful and proper or justified under the existing conductions.” The letter was obtained through a public-records request.
Flinchum also notified Sharon Schaefer Peralta that Devall had been cleared.
Capt. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman, confirmed last week that Sharon Peralta had filed a complaint with the agency, but he said he could not discuss its substance. “Internal Affairs conducted an administrative investigation,” he said. Its role “is to determine if a trooper violates any policy procedures of the department,” he said.
The website Nola.com has reported that Sharon Peralta asserted in her Feb. 5 complaint that Devall, the State Police’s investigations commander for southeast Louisiana, erred by not arresting David Peralta following the rape allegation.
Sharon Peralta, who is now in divorce proceedings with her husband, accused David Peralta of handcuffing, beating and raping her Oct. 27 at their Meraux home. She took her complaint to the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, which passed the case along to the Louisiana State Police.
In a March interview, David Peralta denied the rape allegation, saying he and his wife frequently acted out “rape fantasies” while having sex.
A grand jury in St. Bernard indicted David Peralta last week on a sexual-battery charge stemming from the incident. The grand jury did not charge Peralta with rape. He posted $20,000 bond and was released.