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Posted: Wednesday, 23 April 2014 5:21PM

St. Bernard Parish President indicted for sexual battery



A grand jury in St. Bernard Parish today has indicted Parish President Dave Peralta on one charge of sexual battery.

An arrest warrant will be issued, and Peralta could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

The grand jury met all day Wednesday at the courthouse in Chalmette.

Peralta's wife, Sharon, says her husband attacked her in October.  Mr. Peralta says they commonly used bondage as part of their sex play and the sex was consensual.

Mrs. Peralta has made the allegations publicly, saying her husband bound her and forced her to perform sex acts.  She also said that after he took off the handcuffs, her husband followed her into another room and raped her.

"She states that he brought her forcefully into a room against her will where he handcuffed her and forced oral sex," according to a medical report taken the night of the alleged crime.   It details she said that later "he laid her prone on the bed and vaginally penetrated her."

The report also noted redness on parts of Mrs. Peralta's body, including the back of her neck and her bottom.

"She was spanked very hard," the report said.

The Parish President issued the following statement after the allegations surfaced:

"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."

The Attorney General's office presented the case to the grand jury..

Legal analyst Tim Meche says this is a tough case, and he noted that the claim that this was normal sexual activity for the couple may or may not fly with jurors.

''That's a pretty unique defense, not one you hear everyday,'' said Meche.

Meche says aside from medical evidence, it's her word against his.

''This is one of those he said, she said kind of cases; and they are particularly difficult at trial.''

The Peraltas are also embroiled in a divorce proceeding and civil case that has included both of them filing for restraining orders against the other.

Filed Under :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
Locations : St. Bernard Parish
People : Dave PeraltaSharon Peralta
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