Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office employee admits to sexual abuse of juvenile girls

Thursday, June 21, 2012 - 6:33pm

HARVEY, LA — A former employee of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is locked up today. That’s because he admitted to sexually abusing juveniles and taking pictures of them.

John Cerniglia, 59, was arrested for multiple counts of Aggravated Rape, Sexual Battery, and Pornography Involving Juveniles.

The investigation began after the mother of one of the victims reported that her 12-year-old daughter had been exploited. The mother says her daughter admitted to her that Cerniglia had been taking nude photographs of her since she was 5 years old, but stopped when she turned 9.

The girl was questioned and she also admitted that she had had intercourse with Cerniglia two weeks ago. She added that Cerniglia threatened to “blow his brains out” if she told anyone about the pictures.

Cerniglia is considered a close family friend.

The girl has a younger sister who is 5-years-old. She claims that Cerniglia touched her in appropriately as well.

Investigators conducted a search of Cerniglia’s home on Wednesday, June 20. When they arrived he said he knew why his home was being searched. He also admitted to engaging in similar activities with three other girls.

Cerniglia worked at the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office as an assistance supervisor in the National Crime Information Center until 2005.

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