FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 24, 2018
COVINGTON—District Attorney Warren Montgomery announces that a St. Tammany Parish jury convicted Earnest C. Diaz, Jr., 45, of Slidell, Thursday (Aug. 23) of two counts of molestation of a juvenile where the offender had control or supervision over the juvenile and aggravated crime against nature. Diaz faces up to 20 years in prison on each count when he is sentenced on by District Judge Reginald Badeaux.
In the meantime, Badeaux set a sentencing bond, totaling $50,000—$20,000 on each of the molestation convictions, and $10,000 on the crime against nature conviction—for the defendant. That move prompted the District Attorney’s Office to file a motion Friday, asking the judge to increase the bond to $250,000 on each of the charges.
“Now that the defendant has been convicted, his bond is less than half of what it was prior to trial,” the motion says. “As the weight of the evidence is clearly enough to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and these charges demonstrate the defendant is an absolute danger to the community, the State believes a $50,000 bond is inadequate.”
Badeaux set a bond hearing on Sept. 4 and ordered the defendant to have no contact with the victims.
One of the victims testified during the trial this week that she was 15 years old when Diaz began touching her sexually under her clothes and offering to buy her things and pay her cell phone bill if she would have intercourse with him. She later disclosed that Diaz coerced her into sexual intercourse.
A second victim testified that she was 13 or 14 when Diaz pulled down her clothes and violated her. She said she didn’t tell anyone initially because she didn’t believe anyone would believe her.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the crimes. Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Authement and Will Macke prosecuted the case.