Jury Selection to Begin in Trial of Louisiana Sheriff

Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal will get his day in court Monday after months of legal wrangling.

Monday’s jury selection ends a year of investigation into alleged abuse and corruption within the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office (IPSO).   The allegations state deputies and officers violently beat inmates of the Iberia Parish Jail.

Originally, three defendants were scheduled to be tried.  Because of a plea deal and illness, Ackal will now be tried alone.

Several former IPSO employees have accepted plea deals in exchange for their testimony causing the dismissal of more than 100 criminal prosecutions.

Ackal faces four charges: two counts of deprivation of civil rights, one count of conspiracy against rights and one count of obstruction of justice.

The start of the trial was in doubt due to rumors among Iberia Parish officials and courthouse personnel that Ackal would accept a plea deal.

“I am ready to fight this,” Ackal said. “I will never accept any sort of felony plea deal.”

The trial may take between two and three weeks.

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