Bird sanctuary suspends director over lewd conduct charges

EUREKA, Mo. – The Eureka Police Department released its investigative report Friday about allegations surrounding the executive director of the World Bird Sanctuary, who was accused of exposing himself outside a local business.

Brian Bissonnette was charged with 20 miscellaneous sex violations. Police said Bissonnette was caught in the act.

Investigators said Bissonnette exposed himself at a Eureka Walgreens parking lot near a Redbox where people rent and return DVDs.

Police said Bissonnette confessed to the crime.

“The officer took him into custody and in his interview he admitted to exposing himself to women for various reasons, but he had done this over a period of time. He mentioned that he had been in the military and he said he missed the excitement and said this was giving him that thrill that he missed being in the military," said Lt. David Wilson, Eureka Police Department.

Bissonnette has been executive director of the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park since 2016. On Friday, the board of directors suspended Bissonnette from his position and said they view the charges against Bissionnette with utmost concern and are working with law enforcement.

"We presented that to the St Louis County Prosecutor's Office, they reviewed the case and gave it back to the municipal court, as we have an ordinance that pertains to that same thing, our prosecutors issued the charges on the him,” said Lt. Wilson.

Late Friday afternoon, the World Bird Sanctuary released a statement. It reads, in part:

“The board is deeply committed to providing an educational environment that is safe for our guests, employees and volunteers as we fulfill our mission of avian conservation.”

Bissonnette's attorney said they’re in negotiations to have most of the charges dropped. His next court hearing is scheduled for Thursday.