Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Louisiana man faces most serious rape charge

The old saying of having "the book thrown at you" was illustrated recently in the dramatic arrest of a fugitive. Topping the Louisiana man's troubles is the alleged rape of a 6-year-old girl.

The man, who is currently being held without bond, amassed an impressive arrest sheet, including: two counts of aggravated rape, possession of marijuana, drug possession with the intent to distribute, resisting an officer, three counts of possession of stolen firearms, use of a firearm in connection with drug-related activity, use of illegal drugs in the presence of a minor, being a fugitive from another jurisdiction and several traffic violations.

The sex offenses are by far the most serious. The man is accused of raping two girls, ages 6 and 13, at a residence in March, allegedly forcing the girls to perform oral sex, according to a police report. The girls told their mother, who contacted authorities.

In Louisiana, whoever commits the crime of aggravated rape could be punished by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. However, if the victim was under the age of thirteen years, the stakes get much higher for the accused. The district attorney may seek a capital verdict -- and the offender could be punished by death. Furthermore, when the victim is under the age of thirteen years, lack of knowledge of the victim's age cannot be a defense.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the suspect, and deputies were eventually able to serve the warrant at his residence, according to the arrest report. It was at this scene that the suspect began amassing more charges -- highlighted by resisting his arrest by struggling with officers. A search of the residence uncovered some 2.7 ounces of marijuana, $7,353 in cash, scales and plastic bags -- all indicators of intent to distribute.

Adding to the fugitive's woes, police also found four guns, three of which had been reported stolen from Jefferson Parish. Bond related to the rape, drug and gun arrests was set at $1.1 million. He is without the benefit of possible bond on the fugitive charge.

In the lexicon of experienced and seasoned criminal defense attorneys, the defendant is in dire need of "damage control." By bargaining or offering mitigation, the defendant's advocate will try and minimize the defendant's exposure to indeterminate prison time or even death.

BayouBuzz.com, "Harvey man booked with aggravated rape of two juveniles" No author given, Jul. 18, 2013

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