Mississippi Court of Appeals upholds rape and sexual assault conviction of former Warren County pastor – The Vicksburg Post

The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld the 2020 conviction of a former pastor of child rape and one count of sexual assault involving two 14-year-old girls, according to court information.

Reverend Troy Anthony Piccaluga, 52, was convicted on March 5, 2020 of the charges and sentenced by circuit judge Toni Walker Terrett to 50 years in prison.

Piccaluga, according to the court ruling, appealed the verdict, claiming that the trial judge erred in refusing his request to delete part of his recorded interview with law enforcement, allowing ” repeated cases of inappropriate comments by the prosecutor ”, allowing the use of a transcript of a recorded telephone call and allowing a lay witness to give an inappropriate opinion.

The judges found no reversible errors and confirmed or upheld the verdict.

“We appreciate the court’s decision,” District Attorney Ricky Smith said. “We had two young victims who were victimized by Piccaluga and we had to wait until today to make sure the case is finally closed. They can rest easy now that the case has been confirmed by the court.

Piccaluga is serving his sentence at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility in Meridian, his scheduled release date is September 2069.

Piccaluga, then 48, and a former pastor of the United Methodist Churches of Eagle Lake and Redwood, was arrested on March 30, 2018 at his home in the Redwood community by Warren County Sheriff’s deputies after an investigation into a complaint about a 14-year-old girl. and 16 having sex with an older man.

The second victim was discovered during the investigation of the original complaint and he was initially charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

At trial, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on one of the counts of rape.

Piccaluga’s sentencing was initially set for March 27.

As the conviction was announced during the trial, Piccauluga allegedly attempted suicide in the courtroom and was subsequently placed under suicidal watch while being held in the Warren County Jail, the sheriff of the County Warren, Martin Pace.

As the clerk read the guilty verdict in his previous trial, Pace said, courtroom deputies saw Piccaluga, who was on bail, “pulling a handful of what appeared to be pills out of his pocket and take them”.

Piccaluga was taken to the Merit Health River area emergency room where he was treated and then released and incarcerated in the Warren County Jail.

To read full details of the case and appeal, click here. CONTENT DISCLAIMER: The link includes graphic information of a sexual nature. The reader’s discretion is advised.

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