The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office faces two new lawsuits in the fallout from a federal investigation of excessive force and cover-ups that netted guilty pleas from 10 deputies.
The two federal lawsuits, filed last week, both name deputies who pleaded guilty in the investigation, including two accused of beating a man who had allegedly injured a relative of Sheriff Louis Ackal.
Ackal, who was indicted in the investigation but acquitted at trial last year, has denied wrongdoing. His office declined comment Monday on the two lawsuits.
In the first, Ray Trosclair alleges former deputies David Hines and Byron Lassalle tracked him down, handcuffed and beat him at the behest of Ackal, who believed Trosclair had assaulted one of his elderly relatives in 2014.
In a later encounter, Gerald Savoy, Ackal's former chief of staff, pushed Trosclair's face against the wall and twisted his shoulder out of place, according to the lawsuit.
Hines, Lassalle and Savoy have pleaded guilty in federal investigation, and the Trosclair incident was among many instances of abuse detailed in the case.
Prosecutors alleged Ackal directed the beating and later confronted Trosclair, yelling, "You want to (expletive deleted) with my family?"
Trosclair lived with the relative, identified as Ronnie Ackal, and says in the lawsuit that the man was injured during a fall while walking his dog.
In the second lawsuit, Diane Carlson is seeking damages for allegedly being roughed up for no reason by Lassalle while he and then-deputy Jason Comeaux, who also pleaded guilty in the federal investigation, were searching her home in 2011 while looking for her niece. Carlson was later booked on a charge of battery of a police officer.
Carlson had filed an earlier lawsuit over the incident but settled the case in 2013 for $10,000.
Carlson says in the new lawsuit the settlement should be thrown out and the case revived because Lassalle and Comeaux lied about the 2011 incident.
"Without their false testimony, plaintiffs aver that they would not have agreed to such a nominal settlement considering the gravity of their allegations," the lawsuit states.
Both deputies were accused in the federal civil rights investigation of giving false and misleading depositions in the case of an inmate who had sued over abuse at the Iberia Parish jail.
The Trosclair and Carlson lawsuits face a potential hurdle over prescription, the legal time limit for pursuing litigation. It's generally one year after an incident occurs, but both plaintiffs argue the limit should be extended because information calling into question the truthfulness of the deputies arose only last year, when they pleaded guilty to the federal charges.
The lawsuits come a week after seven of the 10 deputies charged in the federal investigation were sentenced, receiving prison terms ranging from six months to more than 4 years behind bars. Most were accused of participating in inmate beatings at the Iberia Parish jail or roughing up suspects on the street.
Lassalle received four-and-half years in prison.
Hines and Comeaux each received 40 months in prison.
Savoy has yet to be sentenced. He is a possible witness in the pending trial of an 11th deputy who has not pleaded guilty, Mark Frederick.
Ackal, who was elected to a third term in 2015, denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying a group of rogue deputies operated beyond his control and lied to supervisors to cover up their tracks.