Barry and Marla Giglio, owners of the Pig Stand Restaurant, were among eight persons charged with the rape of three young girls, one the daughter of a former Pig Stand employee, near Church Point last fall.
A grand jury last week threw out the charges against the Giglios and four others. It left open incest charges against the other two defendents.
The Giglios, in the St. Landry Parish jail for almost three weeks before bond could be set, then raised, after their arrest in May, held a news conference Sept. 9 to review to air the accusations against them.
Long-time public defender Ed Lopez was initially appointed to represent them and championed their innocence from the outset.
“All kinds of stuff was alleged to have happened in this itty, bitty bedroom with all these adults and three children,” he said. “This was absolutely false. ... From the first minute — the first second — that I spoke to Mr. Giglio and his wife, I knew that these allegations were totally false. I knew it in my heart of hearts and they were terrible, terrible allegations. I knew the Giglios were absolutely innocent of these things,” he said.
Barry Giglio said he learned that he was accused when he was awakened and arrested early one May morning by Louisiana State Police. Giglio later learned details of the accusation from and investigator the couple hired after their arrest.
Giglio said he was stunned.
“He said, ‘If we did this, they should give us the death penalty,’” the investigator said at the press conference. One of the girls is the daughter of a former Pig Stand employee.
During the course of their case, the restaurant remained open, operated by family and employees, in an expression by the accused of their innocence.
“Our business has suffered severely because of the false allegations against us, but we’re here today to clear my family name and my business,” Barry Giglio said. “I hope we can be as strong in this community as we were before.”
He said the couple moved to Ville Platte from the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and begin rebuilding their lives.
Now, in a sense, they start that anew