May 26, 2005

Sheriff: Suspects used toys to lure children

The Advocate

From a report by WBRZ's Ben Lemoine

Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards said Wednesday he believes members of the Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula used toys to lure children to have sex.

In total nine people have been arrested in connection with what police are calling a sex cult.

"It would not surprise me if there had been the use of puppets and things in order to make the children feel comfortable and what not to be able to perpetuate these types of crimes," Edwards said. "It would not surprise me."

According to a search warrant 36-year-old Nicole Bernard, who was arrested on a charge of aggravated rape, "openly stated (a 5-year-old) had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by members of her family and the cult since birth."

She said she had evidence secured in a storage facility in Ohio.

Posted by kshaw at May 26, 2005 11:22 AM