Prairieville man sentenced to 45 years
GONZALES – On Dec. 2, in the Gonzales courtroom of Honorable Judge Thomas Kliebert, Jr., Prairieville resident Benjamin Tonguis, 38, was found guilty of four counts of aggravated crimes against nature and sentenced to 45 years in prison without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Tonguis was also ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender.
23rd JDA Assistant District Attorney Robin O’Bannon prosecuted the case. Tonguis was accused of having sexual relations with his step daughter, a juvenile, over the course of several months. Tonguis pled guilty by his own admission.
The victim and her family were in court during Tonguis’ guilty admission, and supported the plea agreement.
Tonguis was intially being held in the Ascension Parish Jail, Donaldsonville, but was transferred to the Catahoula Correctional Center on Dec. 4.
Tonguis was also arrested in 2001 for the suspicious death of his nine day old infant son, who was found in the freezer of Tonguis’ home in Lake Charles. This case remains open.