Judge dismisses restraining order request

Feb 10th, 2014 | By | Category: News

On Wednesday, Orleans civil court judge Regina Bartholomew dismissed Sharon Schaefer Peralta’s request for a restraining order against Dave Peralta, her husband and St. Bernard Parish President.

The judge said that the request would have to be handled by the 34th Judicial District Court in St. Bernard Parish. President Peralta had already filed for a restraining order in-parish, as well as a divorce from his wife of one-and-a-half years.

Schaefer accused Peralta of raping her at their home in Meraux on October 27, the night of her 49th birthday.

She originally reported the incident to the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office, who shortly thereafter deferred the case to state police.

Since then, the Peraltas’ relationship has been a matter of both public and legal discourse.

Within days of the alleged rape, Schaefer recanted her statement to the state police. However, the state police declined to drop its investigation. In subsequent weeks, state police turned over evidence to St. Bernard Parish District Attorney John Rowley; but Rowley has since recused his office and forwarded the case to State Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office.

Since that October night, the allegations surrounding St. Bernard’s parish president have been prominently featured in metro New Orleans’ media, the most recent being a graphic 12-minute interview with Schaefer on WVUE.

Schaefer, who said she recanted out of pressure and for fear of her job and pension, has been an employee of the St. Bernard government since 2007; she is now living in New Orleans and has taken a leave of absence.

A St. Bernard hearing had been scheduled for February 7 before Judge Robert Buckley, but all five St. Bernard judges have since recused themselves from the case. The judges recused themselves at the request of Schaefer, who said that President Peralta oversees the court’s budget and contributed to some of the judges’ election campaigns.

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