May 31, 2005

Jail transfers planned for some abuse suspects

The Times-Picayune

5/31/2005, 3:03 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

AMITE, La. (AP) At least some of the six people being held in the Tangipahoa Parish jail on charges tied to an alleged sex abuse ring at a church will be moved to other lockups, following an attack on one of the accused, authorities said Monday.

Nicole Bernard, who recently was returned from Ohio to face an aggravated rape charge, was placed in a cell by herself after a group of female inmates attacked her Friday night. Authorities speculated that the attack was triggered by allegations of sexual abuse of children at the now-defunct Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula.

On Monday, authorities decided to move some of the accused to other jails, said Laura Covington, a spokeswoman for the Tangipahoa Parish sheriff. She said the names of the prisoners that would be moved, along with their new locations, would not be released until the transfers are complete.

Covington said moving the prisoners for security reasons had been discussed before the attack on Bernard because of a lack of space in the jail to give each prisoner a single cell.

Posted by kshaw at May 31, 2005 04:24 PM