Jury selection begins in trial of former Benton elementary teacher accused of sexually assaulting children

State News

(Photo: Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office)

BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Jury selection in the trial of a former Benton Elementary School teacher and coach began Monday in Louisiana’s 26th Judicial District Court in Benton, La.

Aubrey Norcross, 50, who taught at Benton Elementary until his Oct. 17, 2018 arrest, is charged with one count of first-degree rape, eight counts of molestation of a juvenile, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one count of video voyeurism

Norcross, who was indicted on Nov. 19, 2018, and a day later, pleaded not guilty.

Since his initial arrest on one count of video voyeurism, media reports along with a community meeting for parents held by Bossier School District at Benton Elementary brought forth more alleged victims, and charges began to mount

As the case began winding through the criminal court system, civil suits were filed against Norcross and the Bossier Parish School Board by parents of the children who allegedly were assaulted by Norcross.

Originally, Norcross was represented by Randall Fish of the Bossier Public Defenders Office, but after Fish’s retirement in 2020, the case was handed over to defense attorney Angela Waltman.

Several trial dates have been set and reset due to COVID-19 restrictions along with Norcross’ deteriorating health, which included throat cancer, but on March 22, the August 2nd date was set.

On July 21st, Angela Waltman, who represents Norcross, filed a motion to continue the trial again, citing health reasons. In the motion, which the District attorney objected to, Waltman said during his imprisonment, Norcross was treated for throat cancer, and recently an x-ray at Ochsner LSU Health noted a lesion Norcross’ lung has doubled.

In the motion, Waltman wrote that due to concern that “the lesion is cancerous, additional medical appointments and diagnostic testing are scheduled at LSU/Ochsner the week of August 2,” adding that Norcross is in constant pain.  

The motion was denied, and the trial stayed on Monday’s docket.

The case is being prosecuted by Hugo Holland.

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