A judge says jurors selected for the child sex abuse trial of a former Livingston Parish sheriff's deputy and his wife, an ex-school teacher, won't be able to consider evidence that the couple had sex on an airplane because it, along with certain other matters recently brought up by prosecutors, doesn't pertain to the core case against the pair.
Dennis and Cynthia Perkins were named last year in a list of horrific charges including first-degree rape, production of child pornography, sexual battery of a child, video voyeurism and mingling harmful substances. At a hearing last week, state prosecutors brought in additional material and sought a judge's permission to bring them up at a trial currently set for next year.
District Judge Robert H. Morrison said he would allow some of the evidence at the trial for Dennis Perkins, a former longtime Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office deputy, and Cynthia Perkins, a former Livingston Parish teacher, but other material would not be allowed.
He said he would let jurors see videos that purportedly show the two acting out role-play fantasies in which Cynthia dresses and speaks like a young girl and Dennis calls her by a juvenile victim's name, a written note in Cynthia's phone that reportedly describes in detail the sexual abuse of a child, Dennis Perkins' child-sex-related internet searches, and videos allegedly showing Dennis Perkins performing sexual acts near sleeping children.
During a hearing last Friday, the Attorney General's Office said that while the new details do not directly involve the crimes the pair is accused of, it demonstrates a pattern of behavior that shows their ongoing motive and desire to harm children, according to prosecutor Matthew Derbes.
The defense claimed that many of these examples aren't provable, according to attorney James Spokes. For example, the prosecution claimed that sleep-inducing drugs found at the couple's Denham Springs home were used in rape and other sex crimes, but Spokes argued there is no way to prove that claim.
Without assessing whether the additional material was believable, Morrison wrote in an opinion filed Tuesday that he would not let jurors consider hidden camera footage from inside the Perkins home, a video of Cynthia and Dennis performing sex acts in the open cabin of an airplane, and the records from Dennis Perkins' application to the Baton Rouge Police Department in which the panel questioned his background.
Cynthia and Dennis Perkins are being tried together in this case. The two also face a series of civil lawsuits relating to a mingling harmful substances charge. The state alleges that Dennis Perkins contaminated baked goods with a bodily fluid before Cynthia Perkins took them to her job at Westside Junior High School and photographed children eating them.