Dennis Mischler, a former Orleans Parish educator and church and Boy Scout leader who was convicted late last year of molesting young boys, was sentenced to 55 years in prison Thursday in St. Tammany Parish.
Mischler, 65, was found guilty by a jury in December of two counts of oral sexual battery, one count of molestation of a juvenile and 54 counts of possession of child pornography.
Nine witnesses, some of them family members, testified that Mischler had abused them. One man said Mischler began abusing him sexually when he was 3 years old, continuing until he was 13.
Mischler taught and worked as an administrator in Orleans Parish schools and also was an active Scout volunteer. Two of the victims who testified against him had been Scouts.
Their accounts spanned 40 years, but molestation charges against Mischler previously were refused on three separate occasions, starting in 1980.
Assistant District Attorney Collin Sims, who prosecuted the case, urged 22nd Judicial District Judge August Hand to impose the maximum sentence, saying that the system had failed in the past.
In an emotional victim-impact statement that was read aloud in court, one victim said that he testified not to settle a score but to end Mischler's decades of "serial child rape and abuse," the same motive he believes was behind others who came forward.
"To not do so, after having our eyes opened to the magnitude of your abuses, we would be abetting any future displays of 'your love' upon innocent boys," the letter said.
The victim said he felt he had to answer for his "sin of silence" in the matter.
"When you are in your cell, please take the time to think about us, not as a whole, but one by one," the victim wrote. "Try to recall the horror, shame and fear on each of our young faces when you first 'showed your love' to us."
In imposing the sentence, Hand noted that Mischler had shown no remorse for what he had down, according to Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery. In fact, the judge said, Mischler showed no sympathy for his victims during the trial and "treated them with disdain for coming forward."
Hand imposed the maximum sentence — 10 years — for each of the two oral sexual battery accounts and 15 years on the molestation charge, also the maximum.
Mischler was sentenced to 40 years for each count of pornography involving juveniles and 15 years for each count of pornography involving juveniles under 17. Those charges are to be served concurrently but will not begin until he has served the time for the other charges, Page said.
The case against Mischler, who was living in St. Tammany Parish, began in 2010 when the U.S. Postal Inspection Service was investigating a Canadian company that produced and distributed child pornography, Page said. The company's database listed Mischler as a customer, and a search of his Covington home found pornographic books and movies.
Investigators found out about the incidents of molestation and oral sexual battery when interviewing those associated with Mischler.