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Former Livingston Parish SWAT Commander is a 'monster,' Sheriff says

Perkins and his wife, Cynthia Perkins, were arrested Oct. 23 on a long list of child-sex related charges.

LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. — The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office is rocked by allegations of child pornography and rape involving a now former top officer at the department.

Sheriff Jason Ard described allegations involving his former SWAT commander Dennis Perkins as "monstrous."

"This guy betrayed us," Ard said. "He's not supposed to do these kinds of things. He supposed to be trusted in our community."

Wednesday, Ard spoke to reporters shortly after a judge ordered Perkins held in jail without bail.

Perkins and his wife were arrested last week on a long list of child sex related counts.

The charges include 60 counts each of producing child pornography and two counts of first-degree rape.

Cynthia Perkins is a former Livingston Parish school teacher.

State prosecutors did not reveal many details about the alleged crimes, but pushed for Perkins to remain in jail.

"We are very pleased with what happened today," Assistant Attorney General Matthew Derbes said. "We're very pleased he is locked away in jail without bond where he belongs."

Derbes encouraged anyone with information about this case to contact the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation at the Attorney General's office.

"We are actively reaching out to known victims," Derbes said. "We would just ask them to be patient. We're going to get through this."

Perkins' attorney David Bourland cautioned against a rush to judgment.

"He is an innocent man," Bourland said. "We will show that in time, in the proper forum and not try this case by the media or hysteria or drama."

In the meantime, Sheriff Ard is deflecting criticism that he turned a blind eye to prior allegations against Perkins.

Perkins was reported to have made strange advances toward a young girl about 5 years ago.

Law enforcement at the time determined the interaction was not criminal.

According to a restraining order filed in 2011, a woman claimed Perkins used his patrol unit to stalk someone.

"Hey look, I would have loved to have put Dennis Perkins in jail a long time ago, if anybody would have known," Ard said. "I ask myself everyday how did this happen."

Ard added, "This guy was a friend and now he is (an alleged) criminal."

Perkins is due back in court on Dec. 19.

Cynthia Perkins had a similar detention hearing on Monday.

She is also being held without bond.

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