Six suspects make pleas in sex cult case

The Advocate/July 7, 2005
By Brett Troxler

The district attorney prosecuting the suspects in the alleged Tangipahoa sex ring has decided to not pursue the death penalty in the case.

Six of the suspects appeared in court on Thursday to enter their pleas. All six suspects -- including Patricia Pierson, Robin Lamonica, Austin Trey Bernard III, Paul Fontenot, Allen Pierson and former sheriff's deputy Christopher Labat -- pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated rape.

Investigators have said that during a span of two years some victims were raped two or three times a week. Defense attorneys argue there is no medical evidence to back up such accusations.

"When it's just testimony from individuals taking the stand without evidence it makes it difficult to get a conviction," said defense attorney Gary Jordan.

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