[StBernard] St. Bernard president embroiled in sexual assault investigation

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Oct 29 08:28:52 EDT 2013

St. Bernard president embroiled in sexual assault investigation
Posted on October 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM
Updated today at 7:14 AM
Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall at wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

CHALMETTE, La. -- St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta is up against a
scathing allegation.
Louisiana State Police is investigating one victim's claim of sexual assault
by Peralta.

The criminal complaint was first brought to law enforcement agencies
attention over the weekend.

"Yesterday [Sunday] Louisiana state police was contacted by the St. Bernard
Parish Sheriff's Office to investigate an allegation of sexual assault by
David Peralta. We are currently doing that investigation," said Louisiana
State Police Trooper Melissa Matey.
Investigators have executed a search warrant in the case and the law
enforcement agency is trying to determine where the alleged assault
happened, if at all.

A spokesman for the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office says Sheriff Jimmie
Pohlman chose to forward this case to Louisiana State Police because it
involved an elected parish official facing a felony criminal charge.

"It's not necessarily standard, but anytime an agency would ask us to look
into an investigation, we'll take the facts and look at what the case
actually involves and step in," Matey said.

Eyewitness News reached out to Peralta for a comment. This statement was
issued through a local public relations firm:
"I am disappointed and embarrassed by the baseless allegations made against
me. This is a sad and baffling domestic issue that should have never risen
to this level.

"In short time, I am confident this will be resolved. In the meantime, I
will continue to focus on my responsibility to this parish and will not be
sidetracked by a personal disagreement."

Once it wraps up its investigation, Louisiana State Police will forward its
findings to the St. Bernard Parish District Attorney's Office. State police
haven't given a clear timeline on how long that could take.

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