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Convicted sex offender arrested at Mardi Gras parade

Posted at 9:49 AM, Feb 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-22 18:18:17-05

A registered sex offender was arrested at Morgan City's Monday night parade and booked with violating the law that prohibits sex offenders from distributing gifts on holidays.

Thomas E. Devaul, 45, of Patterson, was booked with distributing candy or gifts on Halloween and other public holidays by sex offenders is prohibited; soliciting without a permit, resisting arrest by false information, failure to register as a sex offender, and unlawful presence of a sex offender.

On Monday, officers with the Morgan City Police Department working the Hera Parade near Seventh and Marguerite streets saw a vendor selling novelty items and candy.

They stopped to talk to the man to make sure he had all the proper permits, and learned he didn't have a permit. He also gave them a name which turned out to be false. Officers eventually identified him as Thomas Devaul.

When they ran his name, the officers found Devaul was a convicted sex offender from New York.

Records show he was convicted of first-degree rape in New York in 1996. The alleged victims were 9 and 11 years old at the time of the rapes, records show. Records also show that he was cited for failure to register as a sex offender in 2014 in New York, and that he was indicted in 2017, in Ohio, accused of groping a 17-year-old girl at a fair.

After they learned he was a sex offender, the Morgan City officers called the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office Sex Offender Division because Devaul was living in Patterson.

Those investigators determined Devaul had not registered with them, as he is required to do by law. Warrants were prepared by the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Unlawful Presence of a Sex Offender.

Devaul was arrested and transported to the Morgan City Jail where he was booked and processed.