Melanie Curtin’s attorneys say that she has no memory of what she did, and she did not take the stand in her trial, but she was convicted of helping former Livingston Parish Sheriff’s SWAT team commander Dennis Perkins rape and film an unconscious adult.
Jurors spent hours watching the video that showed Dennis Perkins and Melanie Curtin taking turns raping the victim and filming it. Prosecutors said that the 17-minute video from 2014 of Melanie Curtin and SWAT team commander Dennis Perkins performing sex acts on the victim swayed the trial.
“It was possibly the single strongest piece of evidence I’ve seen in a criminal case,” said assistant Louisiana Attorney General Barry Milligan, the lead prosecutor, after the trial ended.
Melanie Curtin was not accused of taking part in the rapes of the children that Dennis and Cynthia Perkins are accused of. Those are separate cases. But on Friday, the judge did throw out her request for a new trial. Melanie Curtin faces life in prison on the charges of aggravated rape and video voyeurism inflicted upon an adult.
The person that Melanie Curtin and Dennis Perkins raped said while testifying, “I wanted to literally die”.
This is the first conviction stemming from the investigation of Dennis Perkins, the former Livingston Parish Sheriff’s SWAT team commander, and his now ex-wife Cynthia Perkins who face a combined 150 counts of child sex crimes in a separate case. Cynthia Perkins just made a plea deal on that. We will get to that in a minute.
Back to Melanie Curtin: The defense argues that Melanie Curtain may have been drugged too and that maybe she does not remember what happened. Even so, what are the police doing taking drugs and raping people, and drugging people?
James Finn, a staff writer at the Advocate reported that John McLindon, the defense attorney for Melanie Curtin’s case argued that “the judge should have declared a mistrial when, after six hours of deliberations, the jury appeared deadlocked. At that point, the jury foreman entered the courtroom and gave Abels (Judge Brian Abels) a note saying one holdout juror would not vote to convict Curtin. ‘What do we do?’ the note said, according to McLindon’s court filing”. McLindon also claims that he received a phone call from a juror that was “unsettled by his vote and the way deliberations had gone” and that he “wanted to do something about it”.
McLindon said he plans to appeal Curtin’s verdict. Prosecutors believed that Dennis Perkins drugged the victim, and the defense argued that “Curtin had likely been drugged by the former narcotics detective, Dennis Perkins and that she was unable to remember the night as a result”.
When Melanie Curtin was offered a plea deal she would not take it. McLindon said,”When we talked about plea deals, she said, ‘I can’t bring myself to plead guilty to something I don’t remember”.
Assistant Attorney General Erica McLellan told reporters on Friday that the 2014 rape victim in the video was “pleased” with the verdict.
In separate cases, combined, Cynthia and Dennis Perkins faced 150 counts alleging they raped two children (adopted children) and an adult, produced child pornography, and served schoolchildren baked goods on which Dennis Perkins had ejaculated, among other alleged crimes.
Last month, about half an hour before jury selection was scheduled to begin, Cynthia Perkins accepted a plea deal. She pleaded guilty to 3 of the 72 counts. She will be sentenced to 41 years.
Dennis Perkins is set to go to trial in May.
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.