Archive for September, 2021

Richard Sharp says he was threatened and coerced into a plea bargain in a court action in order to get out of jail and the cast of characters surrounding his case back in 2015 would seem to support that.The first meeting of GDH International shareholders was held on that same date. Sharp, a member, attended by telephone.

The initial directors of the corporation named at that meeting included:

  • Riecke: Chief Executive Officer
  • Bruce Cucchiara: Chief Financial Officer
  • Sharp: Chief Operating Officer
  • Dudley Geigerman, III: Director of Housing
  • Daniel E. Buras, Jr.: Director

Cucchiara, who previously served as President of Resource Bank in Mandeville, had been prohibited by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) from participation in banking in July 2005. He would be murdered in New Orleans East on April 24, 2012, less than a year after formation of the GDH operation. His killer has never been found.

Another officer, Geigerman, has been linked to organized crime figure Anthony Tusa, who in turn, was affiliated with Carlos Marcello. Geigerman’s grandfather was New York gangster Frank Costello’s brother-in-law and the elder Geigerman worked as a collector for Costello’s slot machines installed in bars across Louisiana.

Sharp, in a federal lawsuit against Riecke, the Covington Police Department, and others in October 2012, indicated that he agreed to the plea bargain and made those concessions under duress.

Sharp filed his own lawsuit in federal court in Louisiana’s Southern District on Oct. 8, 2012, naming Riecke, 22nd Judicial District Judge Peter Garcia, then-District Attorney Walter Reed (another unsavory character in this drama who would later go to prison on unrelated charges), GDH International, and several others, claiming collusion on the part of the defendants to extort money and property from him.

First of all, he said, the arrest warrant was signed by Garcia, who Sharp said signed an injunctive relief order attaching and seizing Sharp’s personal property in Plaquemines Parish in order to prevent Sharp from making bail which resulted in his being held for 81 days on what he says were “fabricated charges” despite an apparent conflict of interest on Garcia’s part.

Garcia was not present for Sharp’s plea but was involved in the certification of Riecke’s civil suit against him and did not allow Sharp to have an attorney present when he certified the lawsuit, Sharp said.

Garcia failed to recuse himself, Sharp said, even though he had a close personal relationship with Riecke and Cucchiara and had officiated at Riecke’s wedding on Aug. 22, 1998.

Garcia and Cucchiara also had purchased property together, Sharp said, further solidifying the cozy relationship between the judge and the defendants and seemingly stacking the deck against Sharp.

Sharp also contended in a formal complaint to the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana on Aug. 13, 2012, that Garcia held ex parte conversations with Riecke and associates about Sharp’s criminal and civil matters.

Predictably, the Judiciary Commission did not act on Sharp’s complaint.

Even more ominous, Sharp claimed in his petition that he was threatened with direct physical harm “in order to extort his consent to settle the civil suit they had filed against him.”

Sharp said that Riecke and Geigerman visited him in jail and told him they would drop all the criminal charges if he would settle the civil case in their favor. “Riecke and Geigerman told Sharp that if he did not sign the settlement agreement, he would not get out of jail and hinted that Sharp just might be harmed while incarcerated,” Sharp’s lawsuit said.

The detective who appeared before Judge Garcia to seek the arrest warrant on Sharp was Stephen Culotta who would experience his own problems after becoming chief of police for the city of Covington. Culotta resigned as chief in May 2021 when his deputy chief, Joseph “Trey” Mahon was arrested on five counts of child pornography. He said his resignation had nothing to do with Mahon’s case.

Garcia and Reed’s motion for dismissal from Sharp’s lawsuit was granted in a 16-page ruling by 22nd Judicial District Judge Sarah Vance on Nov. 8, 2013.

Five months later, she “discovered” that her husband, an attorney with the New Orleans law firm Jones Walker, “has represented and continues to represent GDH International in bankruptcy litigation in Texas, which involves parties in this case, as well as subject mater that could overlap with an issue in this case.”

Having made that late “discovery,” she recused herself and ordered the clerk of court to reallot the case to another judge.

In another head-scratcher there’s the case of E-Housing Solutions, LLC, et al versus GDH International filed in 22nd JDC on February 19, 2016, which included the following default judgment claims:

  • E-Housing Solutions v. GDH International: $32,204.25;
  • GDH Housing Solutions v. GDH International: $23,017.50;
  • Global Disaster Housing v. GDH International: $48,708;
  • Dudley Geigerman v. GDH International: $39,636;
  • Jared Riecke v. GDH International: $36,396.

GDH International, of course, is the company with which Sharp was involved with Riecke, Cucchiara, Geigerman, and a Covington lawyer named Daniel Buras, Jr.

And here’s where it gets a bit sticky and you’ll probably need a program to decipher it all. Records on file with the Secretary of State’s office show:

  • Dudley Geigerman and Patrick Gros are the only E-Housing officers and Jared Riecke is the only officer of GDH International. He is also GDH’s registered agent.
  • JD2 Industries, Inc. is the only officer of GDG Housing but Jared Riecke and Step Three Ventures are listed as officers of JD2. Gros is the registered agent and an officer for Step Three Ventures.
  • E-Housing Solutions and Iron Construction are the listed officers of Global Disaster Housing and Jared Riecke is the registered agent for Global Disaster Housing and is both the registered agent and the only officer for Iron Construction.
  • David Buras or the Buras Law Firm, LLC, meanwhile, is the registered agent for E-Housing Solutions, LLC, GDH Housing, and JD2 Industries;
  • Geigerman, Riecke or a company with Riecke’s name on it shows up in the corporate records of each of the entities above.

A default judgment is when a defendant does not bother to respond to the initial lawsuit which in this case, was filed on October 22, 2015.

But with everyone suing themselves, it’s not surprising that no one filed an answer.

But 22nd JDC Judge Allison Penzato smelled a rat. Apparently suspecting a ruse of some sort in which the court would be complicit, she wrote in longhand across the face of the filing for the default judgment on March 17, 2016: “Denied – insufficient evidence. Oral testimony required.”

The intent of the legal maneuver by E-Housing, GDH, Riecke, et al, is unclear. Court awards in a case such as this one are not tax exempt, so a tax dodge can be ruled out, especially since the total of the sought-after judgments was only $180,000.

Again, the total of the judgments is comparatively small if the intent was to liquidate the assets of GDH International.

But, as the cheesy TV commercial says, there’s more.

On Feb. 29, less than two months before her revelation of a possible conflict, Judge Vance ruled on another matter involving a business associate of Riecke when she denied a motion by Slidell businessman Bay Ingram to quash five grand jury subpoenas issued in connection with a criminal investigation of Ingram’s attempt to defraud BP following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 (more about that in our next installment).

Another litigation case demonstrated how risky doing business with Riecke can be.

Electrical Engineer Kenneth Dutruch was retained by letter dated Nov. 15, 2004, to act as “exclusive agent to secure a sale for SELA (Southeastern Louisiana Water & Sewerage Co.),” but the agreement ended up in court when Riecke failed to pay Dutruch after SELA was sold.

In a deposition taken on Aug. 9, 2011, Riecke was asked to read a sentence from the agreement which said, “Should a commitment to purchase be obtained by you or by us from any source you introduce, SELA agrees to pay your fee on the total amount of the sale price.”

Asked to read the next sentence, Riecke did so: “For these services, you are to be paid five percent of the total amount of the sale.”

On Jan. 13, 2010, SELA’s assets were sold to the parish of St. Tammany for a total price of $39 million, well below the $50 million to $55 million that Riecke wanted for the company but nevertheless a potential $1.95 million commission for Dutruch, a commission Riecke did not pay because, he said, the sale was consummated after the contract with Dutruch expired.

“So, in your view,” asked attorney Alex Peragine, “if an agent earning a commission working for you brings you a firm commitment to purchase, you fire him the next day, you close two weeks later, you don’t have to pay him? That’s your view, correct?”

Peragine asked Riecke later in the deposition if he recalled in January 2007, he offered Dutruch $500,000 at the closing of the deal “in an effort to renegotiate the contract that you signed in November 2004?”

Riecke said that he did attempt to renegotiate the contract because the price received for SELA was far below what he’d anticipated and because the sale to the parish wasn’t consummated until two years after Dutruch’s contract had expired.

The 22nd JDC granted Riecke’s request for a summary judgment (dismissal), saying that Dutruch had failed to establish that his efforts were the procuring cause of the March 2010 sale of SELA’s assets. A three-judge panel of the First Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court decision, meaning Dutruch received nothing for his work.


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Five years, some 175 stories by LouisianaVoice , at least two beatings. one death and a slew of retirements since I first started writing about Louisiana State Police and we finally get our first – and only – indictment.

And it was a federal indictment at that – over the beating of a Black man with a metal flashlight in Ouachita Parish in May 2019, more than two years ago. The killing of George Floyd and the subsequent arrest, trial, conviction and sentencing of officer Derek Chauvin took less time than that.

District Attorney John Belton, an announced candidate for attorney general, didn’t see fit to bring an indictment in the Greene death, even though it occurred in Union Parish, which is part of his 3rd JDC, along with Lincoln Parish.

Nor did Attorney General Jeff Landry dirty his hands in either case. He is, after all, the “law and order” AG, so why would he go after a state trooper who hit a Black man in the head 18 times with a metal flashlight in a span of 24 seconds?

It appears that a tight, well-constructed “wall of silence” was erected around the Bowman and Greene beatings, a conspiracy of sorts that required the cooperation of two district attorneys, a state attorney general, Louisiana State Police administrative personnel and, to an extent, if not participation in a coverup, at least an uneasy silence from the governor’s office.

I’m currently working on another book about sheriffs and one of the things I keep coming across is the idea of the so-called CONSTITUTIONAL SHERIFF,” who is the final authority on law enforcement in a given county or parish. That being the case, where were the sheriffs in the investigations of these incidents? They seem to have been MIA.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Walker seems to have at least taken his job seriously. He’s the one who will be prosecuting the case after today’s announcement that former State Trooper Jacob Brown had been INDICTED by a federal grand jury for using excessive force against an arrestee.

Brown was a member of the trouble Troop F, headquartered in Monroe and once commanded by Kevin Reeves who was serving as Superintendent of State Police at the time of both the Ronald Greene fatal beating and the AARON BOWMAN beating less than three weeks after Greene’s death at the hands of troopers.

Odd that Louisiana State Police didn’t get around to investigating the two beatings for more than 500 days and then only after the incidents were brought to the attention of media.

But then again, after 175 stories about problems in the agency, maybe it isn’t so odd.

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In 1934, New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia put the kibosh on Mafia boss Lucky Luciano consigliere Frank Costello’s slot machine operations in New York City when he confiscated thousands of the machines and had them dumped into the East River.

Facing a major cash flow problem from La Guardia’s actions, Costello cut a deal with Louisiana Sen. Huey Long giving Long 10 percent of the gambling revenue if Costello cared to move his slots to New Orleans. Thus, with the Kingfish’s blessings, Costello and Philip Kastel of Stamford, Conn. and New York City, came to New Orleans in early 1935 and organized Bayou Novelty Co as a front to spearhead what would eventually be a statewide gambling operation.

In 1937, the manager of Bayou Novelty died and Costello’s brother-in-law Dudley Geigerman took over the operation which by 1939, accounted for annual profits of $800,000, according to Baton Rouge State-Times newspaper files. But in October of that year, a federal indictment charged six men of evading $529,456 in income taxes, according to then-U.S. Attorney Rene Viosca.

That amount would equate to about $10.4 million in today’s dollars.

Named in the indictment were Costello, Dudley Geigerman, Harold Geigerman (the Geigermans’ sister was married to Costello), James Brocato (alias Jimmie Moran), Kastel, and Jacob Altman (alias Jake Altman). All but Costello and Kastel were from New Orleans.

Moran, it should be noted, had once served as a bodyguard for Long.

The indictment, which identified Altman as the organization’s bookkeeper and the Geigermans as the collectors, claimed the tax evasions for the years 1936 and 1937 totaled nearly $2.6 million ($51 million in 2021 dollars).

Kastel and associate Alfred “Freddie” Rickerfor of New Orleans petitioned the court in December 1947 to return the slot machines seized earlier that year after police had already destroyed 390 of the 652 confiscated machines. The two obtained a restraining order preventing the destruction of the remaining 262 slots. A lawsuit against Mayor deLesseps Morrison was dismissed in July 1949 despite Dudley Geigerman’s testimony that the machines could not be used as gambling devices without manipulation or the addition of special features. Under cross examination, however, he admitted that they could be fixed so as to make payoffs.

By 1954, Costello himself was on trial for evading $73,437 in income taxes on income from his 22½ percent ownership of Louisiana Mint Co., a slot machine rental firm in New Orleans. Costello’s accountant testified that the Beverly Country Club in Jefferson Parish was a partnership divided between Kastel (25 percent), Costello and crime syndicate chief Meyer Lansky (20 percent each) and Carlos Marcello (15 percent), Rickerfor (17 ½ percent) and Dudley Geigerman (the remaining 2 ½ percent).

The IRS claimed at the same time that Marcello owed $13,600 additional income tax for the years 1943 through 1947, plus fraud penalties totaling more than $6,000.

Gambling, of course, was illegal all this time in Louisiana and continued that way until the state lottery was approved in 1990. Video poker was authorized the following year and the first casino was given a thumbs-up in 1993. Yet, the IRS was issuing gambling stamps here as late as 1968 in order to legally claim taxes on illegal income.

Because gambling was taboo, the $50 stamps were sold as “operational tax stamps,” and one of the first persons to purchase them as the ’68 football season approached was Dudley Geigerman, Jr., son of the man responsible for most of the illegal slot machines in the state and who was not only a brother-in-law to, but a business partner with gangster Frank Costello a generation earlier.

When Costello died in February 1973, his wife of 59 years moved to New Orleans to live with her brother, Dudley Geigerman, Sr. Geigerman Sr. died in August 1985. Newspaper accounts of his death noted only that he was a golf pro and said nothing of his family and business relationships with organized crime figures.

Fast forward to today and we have one Dudley Geigerman, III, who, at various times, has partnered in business with Marcello associate and convicted organized crime figure Anthony Tusa and Louisiana State Police Commission member Jared Caruso-Riecke.

Business enterprises in which Dudley Geigerman III was involved – and his partner(s) – included:

  • Crown Entertainment, Metairie (Anthony Tusa, partner);
  • Decatur Entertainment, Slidell (Tusa);
  • Southeastern Louisiana Entertainment, Houma (Tusa);
  • Video Village, Slidell (Tusa);
  • Mr. Binky’s Video Store, Kenner (Tusa);
  • Paradise Video, Kenner (Tusa);
  • GDH International. Covington (Jared Caruso-Riecke).

The first six businesses were video stores that specialized in pornographic videos and literature as well as various sex toys while GDH was a real estate investment company. Other officers in GDH besides CEO Riecke and Director of Housing Geigerman were Director Daniel E. Buras, Jr., Chief Operating Officer Richard Sharp and Chief Financial Officer Bruce Cucchiara.

Cucchiara was MURDERED in an apartment complex parking lot in New Orleans East on April 24, 2012, while looking for investment property. His killer has never been found.

Caruso-Riecke had four life insurance policies totaling $5 million on Cucchiara with New York Life. Three policies were for $1 million each and named Caruso-Riecke as beneficiary. The fourth, for $2 million, named Southern Louisiana Water and Sewerage, a company they owned together at the time of Cucchiara’s death. Such policies are not unusual with partners or key employees in the business world. Neither is it unusual for insurance companies to delay paying benefits when the beneficiary has not be cleared as being implicated in a murder.

Caruso-Riecke, despite not having been eliminated in the investigation, nevertheless filed suit against New York Life on March 19, 2013, a month before his claim would have prescribed and 11 months after the murder, which was still under investigation. Inexplicably, he filed his lawsuit in state court in Baton Rouge instead of St. Tammany which would have normally been the proper venue for a St. Tammany Parish resident and/or a St. Tammany Parish corporation. The insurance company opted not to contest the policies and paid Caruso-Riecke.

Cucchiara had also had signed a promissory note as security on some real estate property to Caruso-Riecke only 20 days before he was killed.

Caitlin Picou, Cucchiara’s daughter, said Caruso-Riecke gave an initial statement to investigators but since then, the investigating detective “has reached out to him but he declined to speak. They’ve reached out to his lawyer, as well, and he’s declined as well,” she said in February 2019.

Caruso-Riecke, his family members and business enterprises were – and are – politically active, contributing tens of thousands of dollars to both Republican and Democratic candidates, including Gov. John Bel Edwards and his brother, Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards. On Jan. 8, 2019, Gov. Edwards named him to the State Police Commission, a seven-member body “that has exclusive jurisdiction and final authority over the administration of the state police service,” according to the commission’s Web page. “The Commission serves as an impartial review board that enacts and adjudicates State Police Commission Rules to regulate state police personnel activities, and hears appeals from commissioned full-time law enforcement officers,” the Web page says.

It has, however, been mired in controversy as has Louisiana State Police, particularly Troop F, headquarter in Monroe, where media attention has been focused on state trooper beatings of Black motorists, including the beating death of Ronald Greene in May 2019.

It’s not entirely clear what Geigerman’s role is as housing director of GDH International or why Caruso-Riecke would enter into a business partnership with an individual tied to persons linked to the Marcello, Costello and Gambino families and organized crime. There is no indication that Caruso-Riecke is in any way involved in illegal activities, but there can be no question that there is at least an indirect if somewhat questionable link from him to Geigerman and by only a degree of separation, to Tusa and Marcello, which in turn raises questions about his membership on the State Police Commission.

Geigerman and Anthony Tusa together purchased Video Village, located at 1797 Hwy. 190 West in Slidell, on March 15, 2002, for $50,000. That same day, the two also negotiated a lease of the building at that address to be used as a video rental store and for the “sale of novelties, periodicals and refreshments and snacks.”

In something of a plot twist, two men were arrested on suspicion of simple arson in the Sept. 11, 2007, stemming from a fire that burned Mr. Binky’s video store at 96 West 27th Street in Kenner. One of the man, Jesse Acosta, was manager of Paradise Video only a few blocks away at 41 West 24th Street in Kenner, and the other man, Rashad Clark, was a part-time employee of Paradise Video.

Both stores were jointly owned by Geigerman and Tusa.

Despite the arrests, no one was ever prosecuted.

The Tusa name has a long history of organized crime connections. In 1991, when Louisiana legalized VIDEO POKER, brothers Anthony and Victor Tusa, along with Sebastian Salvatore, were CONVICTED under the Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organization (RICO) Act of mail fraud for conspiring to act as “front men” or “straw men” to obtain video poker licenses on behalf of the Marcello and Gambino organized crime families through Bayou Casinos, Inc, a corporation controlled by Anthony and Victor Tusa and whose agent of record was listed as Alan B. Tusa.

NEXT: Caruso-Riecke business dealings examined

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(Editor’s note: While the actual lawsuit provides names of those involved, LouisianaVoice has chosen not to print the names in the interest of sensitivity. It is the reader’s option whether or not to open the link to the legal document.)

Cedar Creek School in Ruston has taken an aggressive position in responding to a 20-page LAWSUIT filed in Ruston’s 3rd Judicial District Court against it and the parents of several students the lawsuit claims were involved in alleged sexual abuse of the son of a Louisiana Tech assistant basketball coach.

Cedar Creek is a private school that was started in 1970 for grades one through nine in response to an anticipated influx of Black students in Lincoln Parish’s public schools. It added a grade in the second, third and fourth years until it was a 12-year school. While attended at first by white students exclusively, today it does have minority enrollment among its 676 students in pre-K through 12th grade – primarily the children of minority college educators and other professionals.

The lawsuit claims the abuse started in September 2020 when two other boys grabbed the ninth-grader as he attempted to enter his first hour Spanish class. One of the boys, who outweighed him by about 100 pounds, incapacitated him while the other penetrated his anal cavity with an Eiffel Tower statue, the petition says.

The two “committed similar acts almost weekly throughout the Fall of 2020 and the Spring of 2021,” the lawsuit says, adding, “These sexual batteries continued through March of 2021.” Each time, the same two would continue the same type attacks with the statue “without school intervention.”

“Throughout the school year, Paul (a pseudonym) suffered multiple sexual batteries” that involved a water bottle and threats to rape him with a broomstick. “In total, Paul suffered at school in this manner in excess of twenty-five times over the 2020-2021 scholastic year,” the lawsuit claims. “During several of these batteries, other Cedar Creek students stood by and watch or laughed while Paul suffered humiliation and abuse.”

In addition to the sexual abuse claimed, the lawsuit also maintains that other students encouraged him to commit suicide.

It was not until May 13, 2021, “Paul Hell Day,” that his parents would learn the true extent of their son’s fears and the abuse he had suffered at school the lawsuit says. His mother was contacted by Cedar Creek Principal Andrew Yepson some 10 hours after the “Paul Hell Day” incident, the day that the year-long abuse culmination was plotted with social media encouragement to Cedar Creek students to bully Paul.

The suit says the boy’s parents “had no knowledge or information that Paul was being bullied, abused, assaulted and violated at school. No one from Cedar Creek had ever notified or contacted them until May 14, the day after “Paul Hell Day,” when two coaches admitted the ongoing abuse with one of them saying that he thought they had “nipped this in the bud during basketball season.”

Cedar Creek, for its part, has expelled five of the perpetrators and the lawsuit says that Paul is cooperating with local law enforcement regarding the prosecution of his abusers. His parents, meanwhile, have pulled Paul and his three younger siblings out of Cedar Creek and enrolled them elsewhere. “In essence, this has allowed Cedar Creek to wash its hand[s] of the past problems,” says the petition.

But by Cedar Creek’s expulsion of the five, they, too, will attend the same public school as Paul (Ruston High School), ultimately placing all of the students involved “back together in the same scholastic environment. As a result, Paul must again attend school with the same boys who battered, bullied and harassed him at Cedar Creek,” the lawsuit says.

In fact, LouisianaVoice has learned that one of the five has enrolled at Neville High School in Monroe.

Paul is represented by attorneys J.W. Bearden of Dallas and Ashley Mulé of New Orleans.

The lawsuit has prompted an explosion of speculative social media comment, most of it critical of Cedar Creek.

The situation has become so volatile that one LouisianaVoice reader said he saw little option than for Paul’s parents to get his four children out of Ruston. “I don’t see how they can stay in this environment now,” he said. “If I were the head basketball coach at Tech, I’d be trying to help him fine a position at another school.”

Perhaps because of the online reaction, the Cedar Creek Board of Directors did not shrink from going public with its own position, issuing a three-page formal response on Monday:

The lawsuit that was filed against Cedar Creek raises many questions that need to be asked of the lawyer who filed it. But let us be clear – the facts and evidence, if there is any evidence, will not support the allegations.

We acknowledge the serious nature of these allegations, and express our sympathy to the … family. We also acknowledge the fact that the Plaintiff was bullied at our school. That should never have happened.

There are four major issues here:

1. When was the school aware of this situation and what was done?

2. Was the Plaintiff penetrated “in excess of 25 times” by a foreign object that is larger around than a soda can?

3. Was Plaintiff involved in planning Hell Day with several of his friends?

4. Is there a video showing a sexual battery of the Plaintiff?

These are the facts as we know them:

1. As soon as the school administration was made aware on May 13 that bullying was occurring, we took immediate action. An internal investigation commenced, the [parents of the victim] were notified, and we then launched an independent investigation using a retired 20-year Ruston Police veteran, trained in juvenile investigations, who was given total freedom to follow the issues wherever the facts led.

As a result of that investigation, and based on school policy, five students were expelled from Cedar Creek. Bullying, harassment, intimidation, stalking, and similar actions have no place in our school community and will not be tolerated.

2. There is no evidence of any kind that the Plaintiff’s anal cavity or rectum was ever penetrated. The Eiffel Tower object that is in a video and is alleged to have been inserted into Plaintiff’s rectum is made of stiff, rough wire and is 3-inches square, which is significantly larger than a soda can. See pictures at end.

If that hard, rough metal tower with four sharp corners was forced into a body cavity and then withdrawn even once, severe physical damage requiring medical attention would have immediately occurred. To our knowledge, at no time did the Plaintiff seek medical attention or tell his parents or anyone else that he had been penetrated by this object.

In the detailed, written account of alleged events provided by the Plaintiff’s parents to Cedar Creek, no allegation whatsoever is made regarding anal penetration.

3. During the detailed independent investigation that was conducted by the retired Ruston police officer, it was determined that Hell Day was an event that was planned by the Plaintiff and several of his friends as part of an effort to replicate in some manner the training that Navy Seals go through. Each student, including the Plaintiff, agreed to have their own Hell Day, and Plaintiff happened to be first.

Before Plaintiff’s scheduled Hell Day, May 13, one or more other students became aware of the scheduled event and posted a notice on social media to be sure to bully Plaintiff that day. Early on May 13, the scheduled Hell Day for Plaintiff, a Cedar Creek teacher witnessed Plaintiff being bullied and immediately intervened, protected Plaintiff, and reported the incident to school administration. This was the first notification the school had of Hell Day. An internal investigation was started immediately by Cedar Creek administration and the [parents] were notified by the school.

4. There is no video showing a sexual assault or battery. The video that has been cited, linked below, was produced by Cedar Creek students as part of a French class exchange program assignment designed to show students in France about various activities at Cedar Creek. The students were required to use the French language in the video to demonstrate proficiency.

The full-length video, available here https://youtu.be/-OZ0Jf2hA6c with faces blurred and no audio to protect minors, contains a short section of some unidentifiable students poking an Eiffel Tower statue at a student in the ribs. The video does not show a sexual battery or child pornography, as alleged in the lawsuit.

Therefore, we believe the Dallas lawyer who filed this lawsuit, J.W. Bearden, should be asked to answer and document the following questions:

1. What proof or evidence is there of these alleged sexual assaults and penetration? Physical evidence? Video? Pictures? Medical records? Witness corroboration?

2. Did the Plaintiff seek medical attention for physical injuries as a result of the alleged sexual assaults at any time? If yes, what were the results?

3. While he was a student, why did the Plaintiff never tell his parents or school administrators about the allegations made in the lawsuit?

4. Why are these alleged penetrations not mentioned in the list of allegations the [parents] provided to Cedar Creek on May 14th?

In the interim, in order to not inflict unjustified damage on the minors involved, we ask everyone to stop spreading rumors, stop making baseless accusations, stop jumping to unfounded conclusions, stop posting items on social media that involve minors, and stop calling for actions that are unjustified and potentially damaging to other human beings, including minors.

The Cedar Creek Board of Directors

Paul Riley, President

Kyle Green

Lomax Napper

Jered Ramsey

Tonya Wade

Jim Worthey

Melanne Turpin

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I thought of writing this column as my annual April Fool’s column but then it occurred to me that the April Fool’s columns are fictional events created around the best comedy writers available: politicians who take themselves far to seriously.

No, I decided, this can’t wait until April because I’m convinced that a conversation strikingly similar to what follows is almost certain to occur somewhere in the gret stet of Texas over the next few months. Hell, it may well happen more than once, if I know the tendencies of self-righteous politicians.

The conversation will take place when some Repugnantcan legislator receives a discreet call on his cell phone:

Him: Hello.

Her: Can you talk?

Him: For a few minutes. I’m due in a committee meeting to discuss additional voter restrictions in a few minutes, so make it quick.

Her: I have some bad news.

Him: Bad news?

Her (crying softly): I’m pregnant.

Him: extended silence.

Her: Are you there? Did you hear me?

Him: Yeah, yeah. Are you sure?

Her (sobbing): Of course. I went to a doctor. I’m 14 weeks along.

Him: Fourteen weeks? How did that happen?

Her: Seriously?

Him: You know what I mean. I thought you were careful.

Her: I was, but nothing’s foolproof. At least that’s what you’ve been saying about the COVID vaccine. By the way, did you ever get your shots?

Him: Yes, but keep that to yourself. I don’t want the anti-vaxxers to know that. They’re a big part of my base.

Her: What about the evangelical pro-lifers? Aren’t they a big part of that base, too?

Him: Damn! They’ll crucify me – if my wife doesn’t do it first.

Her: Yeah, I thought about that. She’s gonna be pissed.

Him: You sure it’s mine?

Her: Of course, I’m sure! You’re the only man I’ve been with since you hired me in your office three years ago.

Him: This is bad, really bad, for me – worse than tapping your feet in a public restroom.

Her: What about me? I’m the one who’s pregnant.

Him: Be quiet. I’m trying to think. We have to do something.

Her: I’m going to give him your last name.

Him: WHAT???!! You’re gonna do what?

Her: I’m going to have give it a last name and since it’s yours…

Him: NO!!! You can’t give it my name.

Her: Why Not? If it’s a boy, I might even give him your first name, too, and call him Junior.

Him: ABSOLUTELY NOT! (He cups his hand over the phone as passersby look his way as he involuntarily raises his voice.)

Her: Well, I’ll have to name it something. And we’re going to have to talk about child support.

Him: You obviously don’t understand the consequences here, the political repercussions…

Her: What I understand right now is that you and I went to that prayer breakfast a few months ago and on the way back to the office, we saw this motel that rents rooms by the hour…

Him: Look, I’m serious. You can’t have this baby.

Her: What?

Him: You heard me. We have to find you a doctor who can keep his mouth shut.

Her: Weren’t you one of the legislators who were out front in passing that anti-abortion bill? You know, the one that pays bounty hunters $10,000 to turn in anyone who helps a woman get an abortion? Didn’t you stand behind the governor and applaud when he signed the bill and announced that he was going to eliminate all rapists in Texas?

Him: Shut up. This is different. You cannot have that baby. It would ruin me and I have a shot at the governor’s office someday – or maybe even crazy Ted Cruz’s Senate seat. If you have that baby, all that’s out the window.

Her: So, what you’re saying is it’s all about you, right?

Him: I didn’t say that. It’s all about preserving American ideals and integrity, about putting God and family values first and only a true patriot can do that. Now hang up and start looking for an abortion doctor in Louisiana or Oklahoma. Don’t worry about the cost; I can disguise it as a political advertising expense and pay for it out of my campaign funds. Oh, and don’t call me on this number again. I’ll get a disposable phone and call you and give you the number.

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