Couple arrested for crimes against a juvenile

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Washington Parish child who was scarred from being beaten with a horsewhip and later raped may now be resting easier since the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested two suspects believed to have committed the crimes.

The WPSO announced Monday that it had arrested a parish man for the aggravated rape of a four-year-old boy. The names of all involved parties are being withheld in an attempt to protect the identity of the child.

The arrests came after the WPSO responded to a complaint about sexual abuse of a child, and the case was assigned to the detective division. Captain Tommie Sorrell and Detective Raymond Myers immediately began the investigation that resulted in the aggravated rape arrest.

The suspect cooperated with detectives and made admissions about sexual activity with the child, according to the WPSO. He is currently being held in the Washington Parish Jail without bond. He is also a fugitive from the State of Mississippi for unrelated charges.

A conviction for aggravated rape is punishable by life imprisonment at hard labor without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

The investigation revealed that the child’s troubles included more than rape.

It was also learned that the mother of the child, who is the girlfriend of the alleged rapist, had beaten the same child with a horsewhip, leaving scarring injuries, according to the WPSO. The woman reportedly refused to speak with detectives, and was arrested and booked into parish jail on charges of cruelty to a juvenile.

A conviction for that charge is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment of up to 10 years or both.

The investigation was a joint effort of the Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Washington Parish Rape Crisis Center, Children’s Hospital Care Center, the Covington Children’s Advocacy Center and Rayburn Correctional Center, which provided polygraph services.

Sheriff Randy Seal said all perpetrators of such crimes against children belong in jail.

“I cannot imagine a more horrible crime against a child than this one,” he said. “I am so pleased with the work of our detectives and all agencies involved to quickly solve this case, make these arrests and get both of these people out of the community and into jail where they belong.

“Anyone who sexually or otherwise abuses a child in Washington Parish can expect to be arrested and placed in jail.”