A state judge overseeing the ongoing saga involving St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta, who was indicted by a grand jury in April on a charge of sexual battery, issued a gag order Friday barring anyone involved in the case from discussing it publicly.
The judge’s order came two days after an attorney for Peralta’s estranged wife called — then canceled — a news conference in which he promised to announce “major new developments” in the case. Just what the big news was to be remained unclear Friday.
Retired Judge Frank Foil, who was appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court as an ad hoc judge to hear the case after all five judges on the 34th Judicial District Court bench recused themselves, issued a gag order preventing attorneys, the defendant, the alleged victim or any witnesses from making public comments about the proceedings.
The order, which remains in effect until further notice, also ordered Peralta and his estranged wife, Sharon Schaefer Peralta, to “have no contact whatsoever with each other.”
Peralta was indicted in April on a charge that he sexually battered his wife. She alleges that he raped her in their Meraux home in October.
Peralta has publicly contended that the couple engaged in “rough sex” on her 49th birthday, at her request. He also claims that she asked him to fulfill her “rape fantasy.” Sharon Peralta, whom he dated for six years before they were married in March 2012, has denied that assertion, saying the couple weren’t even on speaking terms at the time of the alleged rape.
David Peralta filed for divorce in December.
He is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. July 23.
Peralta has said he plans to run for re-election next year.
Follow Richard Thompson on Twitter, @rthompsonMSY.