More Arrests Made In Case Of Bizarre Sex Ring

May 20, 2005, 12:12 PM Wow   Eight people have now been arrested in connection with the church based sex cult in Tangipahoa Parish. That i

May 20, 2005, 12:12 PM

Wow  

Eight people have now been arrested in connection with the church based sex cult in Tangipahoa Parish. That includes four more suspects who were booked Thursday. Three of the suspects are women. Authorities say many children were raped at that church, as well as dogs and cats.

21-year old Paul Fontenot of Ponchatoula was arrested and faces a charge of aggravated rape of a juvenile. 36-year-old Nicole Bernard also faces that same charge. She was picked up by the FBI in Ohio. Nicole Bernard is the former wife of Austin bernard the third, who's also been arrested in this investigation.

45-year old Robin Lamonica is the wife of the former pastor of the Hosana Church in Ponchatoula. She is also charged with raping a child. Investigators say Lamonica had sex with a young boy from the time he was four until he was 13-years-old.

Four other people were already in custody, including 46-year-old Allen Pierson. Detectives say he had sex with a girl when she was nine or ten years old. The other three suspects in custody are former Tangipahoa deputy Christopher Labat, church pastor Louis Lamonica and Austin "Trey" Bernard the third. All face sex charges.

Deputies say all of the men attended the Hosanna.Church. Authorities arrested a woman listed as a counselor at the church. 54-year-old Lois Ann Mowbray of Ponchatoula faces charges for not reporting the aggravated rape. Authorities searched Mowbray's home Thursday night seizing photo albums and other items.

Wow

Eight people have now been arrested in connection with the church based sex cult in Tangipahoa Parish. That includes four more suspects who were booked Thursday. Three of the suspects are women. Authorities say many children were raped at that church, as well as dogs and cats.

21-year old Paul Fontenot of Ponchatoula was arrested and faces a charge of aggravated rape of a juvenile. 36-year-old Nicole Bernard also faces that same charge. She was picked up by the FBI in Ohio. Nicole Bernard is the former wife of Austin bernard the third, who's also been arrested in this investigation.


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45-year old Robin Lamonica is the wife of the former pastor of the Hosana Church in Ponchatoula. She is also charged with raping a child. Investigators say Lamonica had sex with a young boy from the time he was four until he was 13-years-old.

Four other people were already in custody, including 46-year-old Allen Pierson. Detectives say he had sex with a girl when she was nine or ten years old. The other three suspects in custody are former Tangipahoa deputy Christopher Labat, church pastor Louis Lamonica and Austin "Trey" Bernard the third. All face sex charges.

Deputies say all of the men attended the Hosanna.Church. Authorities arrested a woman listed as a counselor at the church. 54-year-old Lois Ann Mowbray of Ponchatoula faces charges for not reporting the aggravated rape. Authorities searched Mowbray's home Thursday night seizing photo albums and other items.

Officials say the investigation will continue and more arrests could be on the way. Authorities say as many as a dozen adults may have been involved in victimizing as many as 24 children, ranging in age from infants to teens. "We still have a lot of interviews to do," says Director of Investigations Charles Fitz. He said, "We're not going to quit until we run out of every lead that we have and we're not going to assume anything."

The father of Trey Bernard spoke with 9-Nnews about the allegations against his son. Austin Bernard II says his phone started ringing off the hook after he saw the story about his son's arrest on televison. 

People called his home thinking he was the one in trouble. "It blew me away. Everybody thought it was me," he says. But it wasn't Austin Bernard II it was his son. Bernard said, "The son I know couldn't do this. It's why it hurts so bad. And I feel so bad about it, but there's nothing I can do." Nothing because the elder Bernard says Trey cut ties with the family two years ago, about the time the father warned his son not to get involved with Hosanna. "I told him, 'Son, I tell you, they're going to go down and you're going to be right there with them.' Now look at where he's at."

The elder Bernard says Trey has a five-year-old daughter. "I just hope they didn't do nothing to her out there. That's what worries me."

What is making this a even tougher time for the elder Bernard, is that his mother died last week. But he's glad she wasn't here to see the grandson she helped raise face such horrific accusations. Fitz says detectives are working with the FBI and other agencies to look at seized computers and carpet samples.

Reporters: Avery Davidson and Greg Meriwether

Officials say the investigation will continue and more arrests could be on the way. Authorities say as many as a dozen adults may have been involved in victimizing as many as 24 children, ranging in age from infants to teens. "We still have a lot of interviews to do," says Director of Investigations Charles Fitz. He said, "We're not going to quit until we run out of every lead that we have and we're not going to assume anything."

The father of Trey Bernard spoke with 9-Nnews about the allegations against his son. Austin Bernard II says his phone started ringing off the hook after he saw the story about his son's arrest on televison.

People called his home thinking he was the one in trouble. "It blew me away. Everybody thought it was me," he says. But it wasn't Austin Bernard II it was his son. Bernard said, "The son I know couldn't do this. It's why it hurts so bad. And I feel so bad about it, but there's nothing I can do." Nothing because the elder Bernard says Trey cut ties with the family two years ago, about the time the father warned his son not to get involved with Hosanna. "I told him, 'Son, I tell you, they're going to go down and you're going to be right there with them.' Now look at where he's at."

The elder Bernard says Trey has a five-year-old daughter. "I just hope they didn't do nothing to her out there. That's what worries me."

What is making this a even tougher time for the elder Bernard, is that his mother died last week. But he's glad she wasn't here to see the grandson she helped raise face such horrific accusations. Fitz says detectives are working with the FBI and other agencies to look at seized computers and carpet samples.

Reporters: Avery Davidson and Greg Meriwether

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