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Baton Rouge Criminal Law Blog

Two arrested for possession of child pornography

Possession of pornographic images of children under the age of 13 is an especially serious crime. Most such crimes are treated as felonies, and the penalties can be very severe for persons who are repeat offenders or registered sex offenders. Two recent arrests of registered sex offenders by the Louisiana State Cyber Crimes Unit demonstrate the potential consequences of collecting and possessing child pornography.

One of the suspects was charged with 500 counts of possessing sexual abuse images and videos of children under the age of 13. The suspect is currently on probation after having been previously convicted of similar crimes. If the man is convicted of the current charges, his prior history of similar conduct means that he could serve up to 40 years in prison and be assessed a fine of up to $75,000.

Rape conviction reversed after 45 years in prison

The conviction of a man for rape was recently reversed after a district judge reviewed the record of his criminal trial. The man was released from prison after serving 45 years. The case provides a powerful example of how prosecutors can exceed their powers and how criminal charges based on weak evidence can result in the imprisonment of an innocent person.

In October 1971, the defendant was charged with abducting and raping a woman outside a Baton Rouge hospital. The victim's testimony was the only evidence linking the defendant to the crime, and the woman even questioned the reliability of her own identification. The woman told police that she thought the man who raped her was taller than the defendant and had a rougher voice. The defendant asserted that he was innocent, but he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Robbery suspect arrested 5 days after release from prison

Louisiana's legislature has been revising the state's criminal law system in order to shed the state's informal title as the "incarceration capital of the world. One of the central features of the legislative program is the reduction in prison sentences and shortening of incarceration periods for convicted criminals. Critics of these changes were given another argument when a convict given early release under the new laws was arrested on suspicion of two felonies five days after his discharge from prison.

The suspect had been imprisoned after being convicted for auto theft. His sentence was reduced (although no one seems certain of the length of the reduction) under the new laws. Five days after his release, he was arrested for allegedly attempting to rob two construction workers at gunpoint.

Prostitution sting leads to 57 arrests in Shreveport

The Shreveport Police Department announced that 57 persons had been arrested in connection with what the department called the "Slick John" sting operation. The sting operation was conducted by the vice department of the Shreveport police, the Bossier City Police Department, the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, the FBI and several other law enforcement agencies.

The sting, named using the slang term for men who use prostitutes, resulted in a variety of criminal charges, most of which were lodged against men charging them with soliciting prostitution. The ages of the suspects ranged from 19 to 66. Only a few women were arrested, but the exact number was not disclosed. A missing juvenile was also found during the sting.

Brother and sister charged with three murders

On October 18, 2017, officers from the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office discovered three bodies in two different locations. After what police officers described as a "very intense investigation," a brother and sister from Alexandria, Louisiana have been charged with several felonies in connection with the alleged murders.

According to police, their investigation began when they received a call about a woman's body lying in Monroe Street in Alexandria. Police were able to identify a suspect by the end of the day, and he was arrested near the crime scene after attempting to evade police. Police are alleging that he stabbed the woman several times before he threw her from his car. The man's sister was arrested shortly thereafter, and both have been incarcerated at the Rapides Parish Detention Center.

Shooting deaths mar Grambling homecoming

College homecoming celebrations often involve wild partying. Unfortunately, the partying became fatal as Grambling State in Monroe, Louisiana, celebrated its homecoming. According to police, two men were allegedly shot and killed by a third man, who is now the principal suspect in the incident. If captured, the suspect will undoubtedly face serious criminal charges.

According to the police account of the incident, the three men became involved in an altercation in a room in one of the nearby dormitories. The fight escalated and spilled into the courtyard in front of the dorms. One of the men allegedly shot the other two and immediately fled the scene. One of the dead men was a student at Grambling, and the other was alleged to have been a childhood friend but not a student at the school. His presence on the campus was unexplained.

Fraternity hazing death leads to 10 arrests at LSU

Most college freshman who decide to join fraternities or sororities understand that they will be subject to various hazing rituals, but few expect the hazing to become fatal. Some of these rituals, however, involve conduct that could prove dangerous, even lethal. The recent death of a freshman at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge demonstrates how hazing can cross the line from relatively harmless fun to serious criminal charges.

Recently, Baton Rouge police announced their intention to arrest 10 fraternity members for the death of a fraternity pledge during a hazing ritual. According to police, the fraternity scheduled a rite called, "bible study," where pledges were asked questions about the fraternity. If a pledge gave a wrong answer, he was required to drink alcohol.

DEA agents indicted on federal criminal charges

Federal drug agents are entrusted with maintaining drugs, key documents and money that are collected during criminal investigations. Two Louisiana narcotics agents were recently indicted for federal crimes because they allegedly violated these duties.

One of the suspects supervised the work of a task force whose members are accused of selling narcotics and tampering with witnesses. The lead officer has been a DEA agent since 1997. He was suspended from his duties earlier this year, but no criminal charges were filed until he was arrested a week ago. The charges included falsifying government documents, obstruction of justice, perjury, conspiracy and stealing money and property that was placed in their possession for safe keeping.

Four teens charged with causing $6,000 damage to tree farm

When a tree farmer near Pearl River, Louisiana, discovered that nine of his trees were destroyed by vandals, he hired "a whole lot of eyes" to watch his trees. The "eyes" were surveillance cameras. The use of the cameras led to the arrest of four teenagers, who now face criminal charges for vandalism.

The first episode of vandalism occurred over the Labor Day weekend when nine cypress trees on the farm were destroyed by individuals who broke off the trunks about one-an-a-half feet from the ground. The tree farmer asked the Louisiana State Department of Agriculture for assistance, and the agency installed several motion detection cameras. When the vandals struck again, the cameras caught them in the act. The cameras caught pictures of the suspected vandals climbing the trees to break the tree trunks.

Three arrested on drug charges in NOLA suburb

Police in the New Orleans, Louisiana, suburb of Harahan recently arrested two men and a woman on suspicion of buying and selling illegal drugs. The arrests were the result of what police say was a confidential tip identifying the three as drug dealers. The trio is now awaiting a preliminary hearing to learn their drug charges.

Using the tipster's information, Harahan police were able to identify a vehicle driven by one of the suspects. Investigators say that they pulled over one of the men based on the tip. The exact nature of the tip and the identity of the tipster have not yet been revealed. After the arrest, police searched the residences of the two men. In one apartment, police allegedly found oxycodone, and the owner was charged with distributing oxycodone.