St. Tammany grand jury charges Ponchatoula man with sexually abusing 5 children

Ross Patrick Bernard

COVINGTON, La. – A Ponchatoula man has been charged with sexually abusing five children.

Forty-year-old Ross Patrick Bernard was indicted by a St. Tammany grand jury on August 24 on charges stemming from the abuse, which occurred between 2012 and 2016, according to the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Bernard faces two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of sexual battery on a child under 13-years-old, one count of oral sexual battery, one count of sexual battery, three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, and one count of failure to register as a sex offender.

The failure to register as a sex offender stems from an earlier conviction of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, according to the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Bernard initially fled to Virginia, but he was captured there and returned to Louisiana.