Legal setback for former Lake Charles gynecologist Peter LaFuria

By By Johnathan Manning / American Press

The state Supreme Court upheld a local

court’s ruling allowing evidence gathered in a search of a former Lake

Charles gynecologist’s

truck and home to be admitted in his video voyeurism trial.

Peter LaFuria, 64, is accused of photographing his patient’s genitals without their knowledge.

Facing a total of 267 charges, LaFuria is free on $1.29 million bond.

Defense attorneys Glen Vamvoras and Shane Hinch initially asked that Louisiana district court judge David Ritchie throw out

the evidence because of issues with the search warrant, but Ritchie allowed the evidence, citing “inevitable discovery.”

LaFuria’s defense attorneys sought to have Ritchie’s ruling overturned, taking a writ first to the state 3rd Circuit Court

of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court.

“I was disappointed but not surprised

by the court’s failure to entertain the writ,” defense attorney Glen

Vamvoras said in

an email. “The LaFuria case presents very serious violations of

Fourth Amendment constitutional protections. This case presents

another step in the continued erosion of our Fourth Amendment

rights. We will take all steps to continue to fight for what

we believe is a serious constitutional violation that should not

be ignored.”

The Supreme Court denied the writ Friday, with six judges ruling to deny and judge Jeff Hughes saying he would have granted

the writ in part.

No reasons were given for the judges’ decision.

“I felt certain that the Supreme Court would rule in our favor because that is the law,” prosecutor Cynthia Killingsworth

said. “And now we are free to go forward with the case and will.”

The search warrant authorities used to investigate LaFuria in 2007 listed his medical practice and all the vehicles on the

premises of his practice, according to previous court testimony.

When they searched his truck in the

driveway of his house, they found a bag containing photos and cameras.

That led investigators

to search his house.

Vamvoras and Hinch argued all evidence

found in LaFuria’s truck and house should be thrown out because the

truck was not specifically

listed in the search warrant.

The Supreme Court ruling clears the way for the case to be brought to trial, although where that will happen must be determined.

On the same day he ruled to allow the evidence, Ritchie granted a defense motion for change of venue because of the attention

the case has received.

Killingsworth said the next step in the case will be for Ritchie to decide on where the trial will be held.