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Month: February 2018

Bogalusa Man Pleads Guilty and Gets 10 Years in Prison for Sexual Battery

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Feb. 28, 2018

FRANKLINTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Amos A. Beliew, 36, of Bogalusa, pleaded guilty Monday (Feb. 26) to two counts of sexual battery and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. District Judge Alan Zaunbrecher sentenced Beliew to 10 years on each count, and the sentences are to be served at the same time.

In November 2015, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office received a report from a high school that a student had disclosed that Beliew sexually abused her. An investigation revealed that Beliew had touched the victim in her private area on three different occasions. The investigation also discovered a second victim, who disclosed that Beliew also had touched her in a sexual manner twice.

When probation officers did a home visit during the investigation, they found him in possession of a .22-caliber rifle.

Det. Demi Rice of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

 

Franklinton Man Gets 20 Years in Prison for Raping 14-year-old Girl

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Feb. 27, 2018

FRANKLINTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Michael J. Fox, 53, of Franklinton, pleaded guilty Monday (Feb. 26) to second degree rape for raping a 14-year-old girl. District Judge Alan Zaunbrecher sentenced Fox to 20 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Fox had been doing handyman work for the victim’s family in June 2016, when Fox asked the victim to check whether the electricity was working in a travel trailer on the property. The victim complied, and shortly afterwards, Fox appeared in the doorway of the trailer. Fox then pushed the victim onto a bed, pinned her down and raped her. The victim’s 13-year-old brother walked inside, witnessed the crime, and rushed out to tell his mother, who called police.

The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case.

The victim’s family was consulted before the District Attorney’s Office proceeded with the plea. The victim, her mother, and brother were all present in court for the plea, and they approved of the sentence.

Pontchatoula Man Gets 99 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes Involving Juveniles

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Feb. 27, 2018

COVINGTON — District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Ross Patrick Bernard, Sr., 41, of Ponchatoula, interrupted the second day of his trial Tuesday (Feb. 27) by pleading guilty to two counts of forcible rape, seven counts of sexual battery, and one count of failure to make required notification as a sex offender. When handing down the sentences, District Judge Martin E. Coady ran several of them consecutive to each other, meaning Bernard will be required to serve a total of 99 years in prison without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

Over a period of 20 years, Bernard victimized more than seven juveniles. One of the victims was 10 years old and living in Pearl River when the abuse began with fondling and eventually progressed to forced oral sex. The male victim was abused until he was 13 years old. A second male victim also was similarly abused from ages 10 to 13. A third victim, who was 16 years old at the time, was spending the night with a relative of Bernard, when Bernard exposed himself and asked the boy to touch him. The teenager later awakened to Bernard trying to unbutton his pants. Bernard, who was a registered sex offender in Tangipahoa Parish, had failed to register in St. Tammany Parish when he moved to Slidell in December 2015.

Several victims and their family members gave impact statements prior to sentencing.

“I’m glad justice was served for all of the children he hurt,” said the family member of one victim. “He’s going to pay for what he did to all these children.”

Judge Coady said the victims’ pain is hard to imagine. “You victimized them for your own perverted reasons,” Coady said. But at least the victims can carry with them that the defendant (who initially denied the allegations) admitted his guilt, Coady added.

Coady sentenced Bernard to the following: 40 years on the forcible rape charges, with the sentences to be served consecutively; 10 years on each of the seven sexual battery charges, to be served at the same time, but those years begin after the time for the rape charges has been served; and nine years on the failure to register charge, to be served after the other sentences.

Bernard turned down an initial offer of 40 years in prison, but after hearing a full day of testimony from the victims, he offered to plead guilty at the outset of the second day of trial. The case was investigated by Detective Adam Maillho of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, with an additional investigation by District Attorney‘s Office Investigator Tami Brisset. Shortly after the sheriff’s office investigation began, Bernard fled the jurisdiction and later was arrested by federal marshals in Virginia. Det. Adam Pailet, assigned to a U.S. Marshall’s Task Force, was instrumental in locating and arresting the defendant.

The victims were interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and also were seen by child abuse pediatricians at the Audrey Hepburn Care Center in New Orleans. This case is an excellent example of multiple agencies working together to investigate and successfully prosecute a case.

Assistant District Attorneys Holly McGinness and Jay Adair prosecuted the case. The defendant was represented by Attorney Douglas Brown.

St. Tammany Parish Grand Jury Indicts Slidell Man in Death of Lacombe Woman

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Feb. 23, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish grand jury indicted Leslie Davis, Jr., on charges of manslaughter, obstruction of justice, and accessory after the fact in the death of a Lacombe woman last year.

Davis, 56, of Slidell, is accused in the death of Krystle L. Landor, who was shot to death November 5, 2017, by her ex-boyfriend, John Malveaux, 36, of Slidell. Malveaux then shot himself to death as police closed in to arrest him.

Davis is accused of aiding and abetting Malveaux both during the killing of Landor and afterwards.  Additionally, he is accused of tampering with evidence “with the specific intent of distorting the results of any criminal investigation or proceeding.”

 

Former Teacher/Scout Leader Gets 55 Years in Prison for Sex Crimes Involving Children

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Feb. 22, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Dennis C. Mischler, 65, of Covington, a former teacher, church and scout leader, was sentenced to a total of 55 years in prison for two counts of oral sexual battery, molestation of a juvenile, and 54 counts of pornography involving juveniles.

Before the sentence was announced, one of the victims, a family member of Mischler’s was allowed to give a “victim impact statement” on behalf of his family.  “You’re a monster,” he said to Mischler. “You tried to tear us down…You tried to make me a monster like you. You didn’t.”

Another victim, who also is a family member, submitted a four-page letter, which was read in court: “From the age of three until I was thirteen, you abused and raped me,” the letter said. “You did all this in the name of ‘showing your love,’ as you have told so many of your victims.”

The letter implored Mischler to think about the young lives he destroyed. “Over decades, starting with your mentorship as a teen with NORD Theater, you purposely and strategically placed yourself in our paths. You went on to use the role of teacher, scout leader, neighbor, active church leader, family friend, mentor and uncle, to steal the innocence of our childhood.”

Assistant District Attorney Collin Sims (Chief of the Criminal Division), who prosecuted the case, urged Judge Hand to give Mischler the maximum sentence. “We have an entire system failure,” Sims said, referring to previous times when boys reported that Mischler had molested them in other jurisdictions, but charges were refused.

Over a span of 40 years, Mischler molested male students, scouts, and family members, who all were in their early teens and younger—some as young as 3 years old—when the crimes occurred. Among them was a now 25-year-old man, who testified during Mischler’s trial in December that Mischler performed oral sex on him on two occasions in St. Tammany Parish in 2005. The victim was then 13 years old.

The criminal case began in 2010 with a U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigation into a Canadian company that was producing and distributing child pornography. The company’s database listed Mischler, who by then had moved from New Orleans to Covington, as a client who had made at least four purchases over a six-month period. When investigators executed a warrant to search Mischler’s Covington home, some of the books and movies were found.

The molestation and oral sexual battery allegations were uncovered when investigators began interviewing those associated with Mischler. They also discovered that Mischler had been arrested for molesting children in three previous incidents, one dating back to 1980, when Mischler was a Boy Scout leader at Camp Salmen in Mississippi. The boy told his parents, who went to law enforcement officials, but the District Attorney’s Office in Mississippi refused charges after a preliminary hearing. Charges also were refused in Arkansas, when a then-13-year-old victim claimed Mischler touched him inappropriately while Mischler and more than a dozen relatives were staying in the victim’s home after evacuating for Hurricane Katrina.

Those two victims were among the nine men, who were called by Sims and Assistant District Attorney Bruce Dearing (Chief of Trials) to testify during the trial about being molested by Mischler.

Mischler testified in his own defense, disputing all of the claims. But the jury deliberated just under an hour before returning the guilty verdicts.

Referring to the many times that Mischler evaded punishment for his crimes, Judge Hand said: “In all my years, I’ve never seen such a system of failure.” Hand said he noticed that Mischler showed no sympathy for his victims and that he “treated them with disdain for coming forward.”

Hand sentenced Mischler to 10 years in prison on each of the oral sexual battery counts and 15 years on the molestation charge, the maximum sentence allowed for those charges. Those sentences are to be served at the same time. Hand also sentenced Mischler to 40 years in prison for the each count of pornography involving juveniles and 15 years for each count of pornography involving juveniles under 17. The pornography charges are to be served concurrently, but they are to begin after Mischler has completely served time for the oral sexual battery and molestation charges.

Mandeville Man Gets 40 Years in Prison for Forcible Rape of Two Juveniles

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Feb. 21, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that David Joseph Murray, 50, of Mandeville, pleaded guilty Tuesday (Feb. 20) to two counts of forcible rape and one count of molestation of a juvenile. District Judge Reginald Badeaux sentenced Murray to 40 years each on the rape counts and 20 years on the molestation charge. The sentences are to be served at the same time.

Murray pleaded guilty to raping a girl, who was 11 years old when the abuse began. The victim was pregnant at 13 years old, when her mother discovered Facebook and text messages between Murray and her daughter in which Murray referred to the unborn child as his baby. The victim disclosed to the mother that she had been having sexual intercourse with Murray. The mother contacted police.

Inappropriate sexual messages also were found on a computer between Murray and the victim in Jefferson Parish, where he was living at the time. During the investigation, a second victim disclosed that she was 7 to 8 years old when Murray also began touching her sexually and forcing her to touch him, and he eventually performed oral sex on her.

Detective Carli Messina of the St Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Luke Lancaster prosecuted the case.

The two victims and their family members were present in court and gave emotional impact statements. They agreed with the plea and thanked the criminal justice system, which they said worked for them.

Man Who Robbed Slidell Restaurant Pleads Guilty and Gets 35 Years in Prison

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Feb. 21, 2018

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Michael Troy Donato, 26, of Slidell, pleaded guilty Tuesday (Feb. 20) to two counts of attempted first degree murder, four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. District Judge Martin Coady sentenced Donato to 35 years in prison to be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.

In January 2017, Donato robbed several patrons at gunpoint inside Mr. Joe’s Chinese Restaurant on Gause Boulevard in Slidell. As Slidell Police Department officers arrived on the scene, Donato was exiting the building and opened fire on the officers. One of the robbery victims was seriously injured when she fled the restaurant, attempted to hide behind a vehicle to avoid the gunshots, and was run over by a car whose driver was also trying to flee the gunfire. Officers returned fire, striking Donato in the abdomen and leg. Donato fell to the ground and was apprehended by Officers Charles Goleman and Brandon Callais.

At the time of his plea, Donato gave a statement, taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing to the victims. He also thanked the officers involved for their sacrifice every day and for sparing his life that day. Officer Goleman was present in court at the time of the plea and thanked Donato for his apology and for taking responsibility for his actions. He also expressed his forgiveness to Donato.

Donato was represented by Attorneys Jason Williams and Nicole Burdett. The case was investigated by Louisiana State Police Trooper Chris Anderson and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Holly McGinness.

 

Jury Finds Folsom Man Guilty of Attempted Molestation and Aggravated Incest

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Feb. 9, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Todd Bennett, 30, of Folsom, guilty Friday (Feb. 9) of attempted molestation of a juvenile and aggravated incest of a victim under 13. He faces 25 to 99 years in prison when he is sentenced March 27 before District Judge Richard A. Swartz, Jr.

Bennett had been charged with two counts of aggravated rape, but he was found not guilty on one of the counts, and the jury found him guilty of attempted molestation of a juvenile in place of the second count. He was found guilty as charged of aggravated incest.

The abuse began when the victim was 10 to 12 years old, and Bennett was 18 to 20 years old. On multiple occasions through the years, Bennett touched her genitals, forced her to touch him, and once attempted to rape her. The victim testified during the trial that he also twice forced her to perform oral sex on him. She said she was afraid to tell anyone because Bennett had made threats.

As a teenager, the victim confided in a boyfriend about some of the abuse, and the boyfriend confronted Bennett on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. That’s when the victim’s parents learned about the abuse and contacted police. Bennett then fled St. Tammany and wasn’t arrested until July 2014, when he was picked up in Arkansas on the St. Tammany Parish warrant.

Assistant District Attorneys Jay Adair and Becky Jo Hollen prosecuted the case.

Jury Finds St. Tammany Parish Jail Inmate Guilty of Obscenity

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Feb. 8, 2018

COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that a St. Tammany Parish jury found Stanton Guillory, 23, an inmate at the St. Tammany Parish jail, guilty Wednesday (Feb. 7) of three counts of obscenity.  Guillory is scheduled for sentencing by District Judge Raymond Childress on Feb. 22.

At the time that he was charged with obscenity, Guillory was a federal inmate, housed at the St. Tammany jail on various federal charges, including murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The federal charges involve an alleged murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the death of a federal witness. Guillory also has an additional pending second degree battery charge.

The obscenity charges stem from three different occasions last year, when Guillory exposed himself and masturbated in front of female workers in the jail, despite multiple warnings for him to stop.