D.A. defends handling of case involving former Shaw employee
Livingston Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux is defending his handling of a case in which a former employee of The Shaw Group says he was sexually harassed and abused on the job.
“We looked into the matter along with the sheriff’s office and approached it the same way we would any other case,” Perrilloux says. “The victim in this case did not appear when he was subpoenaed before the grand jury, and at that point we declined to accept … which pretty much closed the case.”
Perrilloux acknowledges that attorneys for the alleged victim, 20-year-old Andrew Sawyer of Baton Rouge, argue he wasn’t given enough notice prior to the grand jury hearing to appear, but adds: “We looked for him for a month before we could get the subpoena served on him. We made every effort we would on any other case.”
Sawyer alleges he was sexually harassed and assaulted while working for Shaw at Sunland Pipefitting Plant in Walker. Sawyer quit the job in February after about eight months of employment, say his attorneys, who last week blasted Perrilloux for not moving on the case and urged Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to intercede. Caldwell declined to comment.
Four male Shaw employees were arrested in April in connection with Sawyer’s allegations, but they’ve not been formally charged. And they won’t be, Perrilloux says, unless additional evidence is uncovered that would lead his office to present the case to a grand jury in the future.
“We have a burden of proof here that has to be beyond a reasonable doubt,” Perrilloux says. “In this case, with what we have currently, we don’t think we could meet that burden of proof.”