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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lawsuit: Police Chief Covered-Up Friend's Child Molestation

Woman sues Grand Isle mayor, police chief alleging coverup in sexual molestation case
The Times-Picayune by Paul Purpura - March 1, 2011

An Ascension Parish woman has sued the town of Grand Isle, its mayor, police chief and the mayor's stepfather, accusing them of violating her and her 6-year-old son's civil rights by trying to cover up the stepfather's alleged molestation of the boy last year. The woman and her son are identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe and John Doe to protect the child's identity, according to the case filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages. The boy is the alleged victim in a criminal case pending in the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna against Jerry Dantin, 76, who is charged with sexual battery and whose stepson is Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle. Grand Isle Police Chief Euris DuBois, who is a longtime friend of Dantin's, is accused of botching the investigation. "All of the actions taken by Mr. Carmadelle (sic) and Mr. Dubois in hindering the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Dantin, including attempts to cover up Dantin's crime, were undertaken with deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of John Doe and Jane Doe," Metairie attorneys Richard Trahant and T. Peter Breslin wrote in the 10-page lawsuit. Trahant said neither he nor the mother would comment. Camardelle, Dantin and Dubois could not be reached for comment.

The charge was filed against Dantin on Aug. 20, five months after the child told his parents about the incident. Dantin, who is free from jail on a $25,000 bond, is scheduled to stand trial next month before Judge Steve Windhorst. According to the civil case, the boy spends time at Grand Isle with his father. The child told his mother and maternal grandmother on March 30 that Dantin, known as "Captain Jay," molested him on his house boat. Dantin stopped when he heard voices outside and threatened to kill the boy and his mother if he told anyone, according to the lawsuit. The following day the boy's father told Camardelle of what happened. However, Camardelle "pleaded" with the father to wait until after Easter to report the matter, and that the mayor would report it to police, according to the lawsuit. However, Camardelle never reported it or returned a phone call to the child's mother, leading her to go to the Grand Isle Police Department on April 6, according to the lawsuit. Dubois allegedly told the mother he thought she was lying. Camardelle arrived shortly after and apologized, and then he retrieved his stepfather from home. Camardelle was allowed to be present during the interrogation, and when Dantin allegedly began to confess, Dubois was unable to find a working recorder, and his assistant was unable to write down what Dantin was saying, according to the lawsuit. "While all of this was happening, Mr. Carmadelle (sic) was crying hysterically and uncontrollably, at times lying on the floor," according to the lawsuit. "At one point during this traumatic event, Mr. Carmadelle (sic) thought he was having a heart attack and EMS was called to the police station to check out Mr. Carmadelle (sic). He was not having a heart attack." Camardelle allegedly told the boy's grandmother that it was not the first time Dantin allegedly molested a child, according to the lawsuit. The child's mother said she called the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office "on a weekly basis," only to be told that it had not received reports from Grand Isle police. "It was clear that Mr. Dubois and his department were willfully obstructing the investigation by the JPSO by refusing to cooperate with requests from the JPSO," according to the lawsuit. Jefferson Parish prosecutors allege the molestation took place sometime between Jan. 1, 2010 and March 30. Dantin's statement was the subject of a hearing last month, in which his attorney Robert Toale sought to have the statement suppressed. Windhorst refused to do so. Toale is appealing the decision. Camardelle, who was on the prosecutor's witness list, was in the courthouse that day, but he was not called to testify. Paul Purpura can be reached at or 504.826.3791.


Judge allows confession of sexual misconduct by Grand Isle mayor's stepfather
The Times-Picayune by Paul Purpura - February 1, 2011

A state judge ruled Tuesday that the confession given last year by the stepfather of Grand Isle's mayor to having improper sexual contact with a 6-year-old boy is legally sound and can be used in a trial. Jerry Dantin, 76, who is Mayor David Camardelle stepfather, is charged with sexual battery after the boy alleged that he complied with Dantin's request and rubbed a rash cream on the man. Dantin allegedly admitted to the contact. But questioning circumstances about how Dantin's statement was obtained, defense attorney Robert Toale wanted his client's statement suppressed. Toale painted a picture of a Mayberry-type investigation fraught with constitutional deficiencies. However, Grand Isle Police Chief Euris Dubois testified he was mindful of Dantin's rights, particularly when Dantin, whom he has known over 40 years, began to give a statement of guilt. Dubois conceded he asked for help from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in conducting the investigation. "We're not familiar with big cases like this, so that's why I requested Gretna (JPSO) to come down," Dubois testified. During the interview with Dantin, Dubois said the police department's tape recorder did not work, and the chief's assistant was unable to write down accurately what Dantin said. Dubois also could not recall whether Dantin confessed before or after he was read his Miranda rights, but the child's mother testified Dantin confessed after the rights were read. After hearing over an hour of testimony, Judge Steve Windhorst of the 24th Judicial District Court ruled prosecutors can use Dantin's statement. Toale said he would appeal. Dantin is free from jail on a $25,000 bond. The trial is set for March 28. He was arrested April 6, after a complaint was filed at the island's police station alleging sexual abuse that occurred a week or more earlier. Dubois said he asked Camardelle to retrieve Dantin for questioning, worried that the sight of police officers taking Dantin into custody in front of his wife - Camardelle's mother - would adversely affect her ill health. Toale argued that his client was effectively taken into custody at that point without probable cause, based on unsubstantiated allegations raised by the boy's mother. The woman is not being identified to protect the identity of the child. Camardelle and the woman were present in Dubois' office during the interview, according to testimony. Dubois also allowed the child's mother to question Dantin, leading Toale to argue that the chief "just handed the investigation over." Only after the woman promised she would not press charges did Dantin allegedly confess. The woman's promise made the confession involuntary and therefore not admissible as evidence, Toale argued, saying the mother "lied and manipulated this elderly man." But Assistant District Attorney Jerry Smith argued that prosecutors decided to press charges. Paul Purpura can be reached at or 504.826.3791.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It is amazing how corrupt this mayor and so called police chief are. Jefferson parish should have these to careers put in the trash for good. This police chief is a joke and should be investigated in other things i'm sure. They should even look at his whole staff and see if they are even qualified to uphold the law, and if they even know what the law is. I'm sure that if they along with the chief is questioned on the law of Louisiana they would soon find out that they are completely incompetent on being in the positions that they hold. Jefferson Parish itself should take over and assign their own out of town police to enforce the law and see how much of the corruption goes away. This mayor and chief should be put behind bars for their actions as by doing what they have done makes them guilty as well and says that this kind of criminal behavior against innocent children is acceptable. These are the people that are suppose to be protecting the children of Grand Isle and the children that go to the islan to enjoy what the island has to offer. The news stations should be updating this situation continuosly to make sure that this good ol' boys club doesn't get away with this horrible act.