A Gretna police officer who was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with a juvenile last year has been suspended after he was arrested Monday by the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office and State Police on a separate accusation of distributing child pornography.
Authorities said Officer Ronald Black, 60, was arrested after a search warrant was executed at his Port Sulphur home. Their investigation began earlier this month when Black allegedly shared video online with an undercover Sheriff’s Office investigator of a prepubescent girl engaged in a sexual act, police said.
Black admitted he was the only person who lived at the address but denied possessing child pornography. Deputies said an on-site examination of his hard drive, however, unearthed a file known to contain child pornography.
Black was booked on one count of distribution of child pornography. He is being held in lieu of $85,000 bail.
In July 2014, the Sheriff’s Office accused Black, a 10-year veteran who works as a court security officer at the Jefferson Parish Government Building, of trying to inappropriately touch a 6-year-old child.
When District Attorney Charles Ballay brought the case before a grand jury, however, it declined to indict Black. Ballay said Tuesday that he would review the case file to determine why the grand jury returned a no true bill and that Black potentially could be charged with that offense now.
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cmdr. Eric Becnel said the latest investigation was not connected to the earlier case.
Gretna Deputy Chief of Police Anthony Christiana said Black was placed on administrative leave without pay immediately after the most recent accusation. He also was suspended after last year’s accusation, but he was returned to duty after he was cleared by the grand jury.
Christiana said Black has a good record with the department and that no accusations of a similar nature had been lodged against him in Gretna.
He was responsible for scanning and monitoring people going in and out of the government building.
“Ronnie’s been around a very long time in law enforcement,” Christiana said. “There’s nothing that I can recall him being involved in ever with his tenure here at the Gretna Police Department that would be a black eye or even questionable.”
The Sheriff’s Office said the state Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crime Unit also will examine a hard drive, cellphones, a tablet computer, more than 400 DVDs and several videotapes recovered at Black’s house to determine whether they contain more depictions of child pornography.