UPDATE: 10 P.M.: A Eunice husband and wife are accused of abusing and molesting their adopted daughter and foster son.
Eunice police arrested Robert Leason, 41, and charged him with molestation and indecent behavior with juveniles. His wife, Sheri Leason, 46, was also arrested and charged with second degree cruelty to juveniles.
The couple had two children in their custody; a 12-year-old girl the couple adopted in 2019 and a 7-year-old boy they had been fostering since 2021.
“Normal people I would say, if I had to pass by. No confusion, no disturbances, nothing out of the ordinary,” Provisional Sergeant Jessica Tezeno, a detective with the Eunice Police Department, said, while describing the couple.
She says the investigation into the Leason’s began in early November. The principal at Eunice Elementary called police and the Department of Children and Family Services when she noticed severe bruising on the 7-year-old.
“The kid allegedly was whipped, but to an extreme that left several bruises on him,” Sergeant Tezeno told News Ten.
While investigating the physical abuse, Sergeant Tezeno then received an anonymous audio recording of the child being whipped. She says he sounded distressed.
Tizeno said she learned the boy was supposed to be in the foster care system in Missouri and that the Leasons, who lived in Missouri when they began fostering him, returned to their home in Eunice for obligations to a church in St. Landry Parish.
His social worker in Missouri hadn’t checked on the boy in person in over a year, Tizeno said.
“Upon the removal of the kids due to the first incident, the kid disclosed to the Department of Children and Family Services and health professionals of what took place with her. She was too afraid to say anything,” Tezeno said.
The 12-year-old told social workers she had been molested by her adoptive father, Robert Leason.
Sheri Leason faces a charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles; her husband is charged with molestation of a juvenile and indecent behavior with juveniles.
Sergeant Tezeno, in reaching out to the public said to report abuse if it is suspected.
“Pay attention to the actions of the kid. Most kids would not disclose anything due to the consequences that they may suffer or due to whatever it is that they were told by the perpetrator or by their abuser.”
She also says report your suspicions to the nearest police department and contact the Department of Children and Family Services.
“Don’t turn a blind eye to it because at the end of the day, it could be one of your family members.”
Eunice police also tell News 10 the Leasons were planning to adopt the 7-year-old boy they were fostering and his little sister.
Both children are now safe and in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Sheri Leason’s bond was set at $25K and she has since bonded out of jail.
Her husband’s bond was set at $30K and jal records show that he remains incarcerated in the St. Landry Parish jail.
DISCLAIMER: All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
EUNICE, La. (KLFY) — A Eunice couple were arrested in separate incidents of child abuse and molestation of their adopted and foster children, police said.
Sheri Leason, 46, and Robert Leason, 41, were arrested Wednesday under two different arrest warrants. Sheri Leason was charged with second degree cruelty to juveniles, specifically their seven-year-old foster son, and Robert Leason was charged with molestation of a juvenile and indecent behavior with juveniles, the alleged victim being their 12-year-old adopted daughter.
Eunice Police said the boy showed signs of abuse at school. When school authorities called Sheri Leason in to investigate, Robert Leason molested the girl at home.
The children, and another foster child, have been removed from the home by authorities, police said.
Both suspects were booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail. Sheri Leason was released on unspecified bail, and Robert Leason remains incarcerated.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.