Sunday, September 16, 2018

Mug Shot Monday (continued)

A former Ascension Parish sheriff's corrections deputy will serve four years in state prison after his guilty plea earlier this fall to indecent behavior with a juvenile and multiple counts of attempted child pornography possession, prosecutors said.

On Monday, Todd Eric Tripp, 29, accepted the sentence from state District Judge Jessie LeBlanc that had been recommended in an October plea agreement with prosecutors.

After a series of arrests in 2013 and in 2015, Tripp, 921 W. Elrem St., Apt. A, Gonzales, had faced more than 300 counts of possession of child pornography, plus counts of computer-aided solicitation of a minor, carnal knowledge of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile. But, in an Oct. 17 plea agreement with prosecutors, Tripp accepted reduced charges of 10 counts of attempted possession of child pornography and indecent behavior with a juvenile. All other charges were dropped.

As part of the plea agreement, Tripp acknowledged that he sent "lewd and lascivious text messages" to a 15-year-old and that sheriff's detectives found child pornography images in his home in September 2013. Under the plea's recommendations, Judge LeBlanc also gave Tripp several post-prison conditions, including serving five years probation, having no contact with the victims, having no internet or social media use outside work, having a mental health evaluation and accepting treatment, if needed, and registering as a sex offender for 25 years after his release.

LeBlanc sentenced Tripp to 84 years, but, after suspensions and her order that multiple sentences be served at the same time, Tripp's actual prison time works out to four years with credit for time served. Tripp already has spent more than 2½ years behind bars, according to online jail records in Ascension.

Tripp, a former sheriff's deputy for 1½ half years, was arrested three times in the fall 2013 on child porn, carnal knowledge and other counts but was released on bail. Tripp was fired after his initial arrest in September 2013. Tripp, who is formerly from St. Amant, was arrested again in spring 2015 on two more counts and had his $126,000 bail revoked. Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies said that while Tripp was free on bail earlier in 2015, he was sharing sexually oriented messages with a teenage boy from Tennessee through social media. Tripp had been discussing the possibility of traveling to visit the boy, though that never happened.

Tripp's guilty plea Oct. 17 came about a month after his defense attorney had resumed his earlier plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in advance of his trial. In the long-running case, defense attorney Jake Lemmon had sought a sanity commission, arguing in court papers that Tripp suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Lemmon later withdrew the request as he attempted to reach a plea with prosecutors only to convince LeBlanc to reinstate the motion as the trial date drew near last fall. A few weeks later Tripp pleaded guilty to the reduced number of charges. Lemmon could not be reached by deadline Monday. (Via The Advocate)