Nine adults face charges in child abuse case in northeast Louisiana

Nine adults face charges in child abuse case in northeast Louisiana
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:02 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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VIDALIA, La. (KNOE) - Nine people have been arrested in connection with the alleged abuse and possible molestation of multiple children in a small northeast Louisiana city.

The reported site of the alleged crimes, according to local authorities, was a small house practically in the center of the city of Vidalia. It is just blocks away from a busy highway lined with local businesses. At least three churches, a school, a hospital, even the courthouse, are all within roughly a 15 to 20-minute walking distance of the home where it’s alleged that at least four children were abused.

Vidalia is a city of approximately four thousand people and the seat of Concordia Parish. It’s situated along the Mississippi River just across from the city of Natchez, Mississippi.

The sheriff’s office reports that their investigation began on Feb. 28, 2022, after they heard about an inappropriate relationship between a teenage girl and a man in his fifties at 105 Magnolia Street.

It is there that nine adults are believed to have been involved, in some shape or form, in the abuse of those four children. Charges levied against the suspects suggest that three children may have been the victims of molestation, though circumstances are unclear at this time.

An investigation revealed a child there had an excessive number of unexcused absences from school. Authorities also say that the same home was the location of an arrest they made in 2021 involving child porn charges. They were able to obtain a search warrant for the residence, as well as arrest warrants for the child’s parents.

Upon executing the search warrant on March 3, authorities found the place to “be in unlivable conditions with a total of thirteen individuals inside, one of which was a convicted sex predator.” They also reported finding an undisclosed amount of narcotics at the home.

At that time, they arrested the nine adults each on charges of cruelty to juveniles and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles.

Further investigation revealed evidence of sexual molestation, they say.

On March 15, authorities announced additional charges against four of the suspects they had arrested previously. Jeremy A. Gossett and Robert E. Lee were both rearrested on three counts of molestation of a juvenile. Dudley J. Leblanc Jr. and Sherry McCage were each booked on three counts of principal to molestation of a juvenile.

The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office says this case is still under investigation. Anyone with information on these alleged crimes, or any sex abuse at all, should contact authorities.

Robert E. Lee, Dudley J. Leblanc, Jeremy A. Gossett, and Sherry McCage.
Robert E. Lee, Dudley J. Leblanc, Jeremy A. Gossett, and Sherry McCage.(Source: Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office)

ARRESTED

Robert E. Lee, 50 - Vidalia, LA

  • Molestation of a Juvenile, (3) Counts
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Jeremy A. Gossett, 44 - Vidalia, LA

  • Molestation of a Juvenile, (3) Counts
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Sherry Mccage, 50 - Vidalia, LA

  • Principal to Molestation of a Juvenile, (3) Counts
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

Dudley J. Leblanc, 57 - Vidalia, LA

  • Principal to Molestation of a Juvenile, (3) Counts
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Gregory E. Martin, 21 - Ferriday, LA

  • Unauthorized Presence of a Sex Predator
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, (3) Counts
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Roy L. Box, 19 - Vidalia, LA

  • Possession of Schedule I CDS
  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Steven A. Martin, 19 - Vidalia, LA

  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Theodore E. Johnston, 41 - Vidalia, LA

  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts

Michael L. Herron, 53 - Vidalia, LA

  • Cruelty to Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Contributing to the Delinquency of Juveniles, (4) Counts
  • Possession of Schedule II CDS
  • Fugitive Attachment

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