A Louisiana middle school teacher and her husband, a sheriff’s deputy, were arrested earlier this week for allegedly sexually abusing a child together.
Dennis and Cynthia Perkins have both been charged with multiple counts of child rape and pornography after investigators allegedly found photos that showed them and at least one child naked in sexual situations.
According to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, the investigation began when the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children alerted them to the possible possession and distribution of child pornography. Investigators soon focused on the couple, and a grand jury indicted them earlier this week.
Dennis Perkins, 44, has been fired from his job as a sheriff’s deputy with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office. Cynthia Thompson Perkins, 34, quit her job with Livingston Parish Public Schools.
“It’s a sad day for all of us … when you arrest one of your own,” Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard told the Baton Rouge Advocate.
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PEOPLE confirms that Dennis Perkins has been charged with 60 counts of production of pornography involving a juvenile under age 13, two counts of first-degree rape, three counts of possession of pornography involving a juvenile under age 13, two counts of video voyeurism and two counts of obscenity. He is being held at the Livingston Parish Detention Center on $1.7 million bond.
He was also charged with obstruction of justice. A law enforcement source told FOX 8 that the additional charge was filed because he allegedly tossed his cellphone into a river after realizing investigators were about to arrest him.
“This was a veteran law enforcement officer, one who had dedicated a lot of time and effort into this community,” Sheriff Ard told The Advocate. “This type of alleged behavior will not be tolerated by me or anyone at the LPSO.”
Cynthia Thompson Perkins has been charged with 60 counts of production of pornography involving a juvenile under age 13 and two counts of first-degree rape. Her bond has been set at $500,000.
She had been a middle school teacher at Westside Junior High School in Walker, Louisiana. In its statement, the school district confirmed her resignation. “Livingston Parish Public Schools is committed to the safety and security of all students and employees and is committed to working with the proper authorities as needed through the course of this investigation,” the district said.
Neither defendant has entered a plea, and court records do not reflect attorneys authorized to speak on their behalf.