Former Sorrento Mayor sentenced to 40 years on charges including child pornography and animal cruelty

Gonzales, LA – In the Gonzales courtroom of the Honorable Judge Jessie LeBlanc, former Sorrento mayor, Wilson Longanecker Jr, accepted a plea deal on the morning of Tuesday, January 19. He pleaded guilty to a number of charges including four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, 30 counts of pornography of juveniles under the age of thirteen, twelve counts of pornography involving juveniles and one count of obstruction of justice, resulting in a combined total sentence of 40 years imprisonment at hard labor, at least ten years must be served without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.
In September of 2014, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office Cyber Crime Unit noticed someone at an IP Address identified as belonging to Wilson Longanecker, Jr.  viewing child pornography.   A search warrant was obtained, and on October 23, 2014, investigators with the Attorney General’s office arrived at Longanecker’s residence.  Once inside the master bedroom an investigator noticed a laptop computer with the hard drive missing.   The defendant acknowledged to the investigators that when he observed the officers arriving to his home he placed the laptop’s hard drive and the flash drives into the safe and locked it.  The defendant refused to give officer’s the combination to the safe.  Investigators eventually obtained the combination from the defendant’s father. Once the safe was opened, the hard drive, a cell phone and 2 flash drives were removed.  Forensic analysis of the devices revealed approximately 40 pornographic videos of children being sexually raped and abused, including bestiality. The children were between the ages of 3 and 14 years old.   Further forensic examinations revealed homemade images and videos depicting Wilson Longanecker, Jr.  torturing and abusing kittens by choking, drowning and ripping fur from their faces and bodies, among other acts of violence and torture causing unjustifiable physical pain, suffering and death to the kittens.
Special Prosecutor Robin O’Bannon and Assistant District Attorney Sarah Clarke prosecuted the case for the 23rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office.  “The evidence was overwhelming against the defendant thanks to the tireless efforts of the Attorney General Cyber Crimes Unit,” O’Bannon stated.    “We also had information and assistance from the Northside Humane Society and the Capital Area Animal Welfare Society who stood ready to assist us at trial,” added Clarke.  O’Bannon and Clarke also obtained the assistance from nationally recognized forensic veterinarian, Dr. Melinda Merck, who testified in the Michael Vick animal cruelty trial, among others.
District Attorney Ricky Babin stated that Longanecker had no defense to this crime and said “We are relieved that the members of this community who would have had to serve on a jury are spared having to view the vile and heinous abuse suffered by the children in the videos that the defendant took pleasure in watching.”
O’Bannon agreed and added, “Judge Leblanc was so right when she said that even though he did not physical touch these children; his act perpetuated the abuse of the most helpless in our society.”
Babin hopes that this sentence will send a message to anyone else watching child porn or abusing animals.  “These acts will not be tolerated.  You will be caught, and you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Babin.