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May 26, 2010 6:45 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Deputy Investigated in Sexual Assault

A St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Deputy is under investigation after a Breaux Bridge woman filed a complaint of sexual assault against him. 49 year old Cheri Begnaud says the alleged incident happened Friday at her house in the 1600 block of Prairie Highway.

Cheri says two deputies were called out to her house after her son's father attempted to beat her. She says that man was escorted away by the deputies, but just 10 minutes later one of them returned. That deputy, Steven Dale, was suppose to be bringing back forms for Cheri so she could file a retraining order and look for help for domestic abuse victims. But, Cheri says instead, the deputy asked to come inside and for her to lock the door.

That's when Cheri says Dale forced her to perform oral sex on him.

"You have no choice, he's a cop, he's got a gun. You have to do what he tells you to do," Cheri said. "Now, I can't sleep, I can't eat. It's not bad enough I get beat up... now, I get assaulted by the people that's suppose to help me".

Cheri's aunt and uncle were on the property at the time of the incident in the house next door. Cheri's uncle knocked on her front door after he said he felt something was wrong.

Cheri says at that time the deputy got up and left.

Brenda Begnaud, Cheri's aunt, says the family is outraged by the incident. Brenda says the family has been living in Breaux Bridge for over 60 years and after the assault they are all now living in fear.

"(Cheri's)She's a good woman and she don't deserve to be taken advantage of especially by the law... can you imagine," Brenda said.

Cheri says she's now added extra locks on her doors and windows just to feel safe in her own home. "I wouldn't let any man in my house again... I don't care if he's a cop,I don't care if he's God, I'm not going to let him in my house."

The Deputy Dale is on paid administrative pending the outcome of the investigation.

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