In the US State of Louisiana, a court in New Orleans has found an officer from the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) guilty of aggravated rape, a crime which he had committed way back in 2003.
Officer Michael Thomassie, was dragged before the court in February 2014, after a thorough investigation into the incident by detectives.
Prosecutors said the rape occurred on an unknown afternoon in 2003, when the girl was just 7-years-old. Thomassie was said to be dating the victim’s mother at the time and was responsible for the general upkeep of the victim and her mother. The incident was never reported to the police until 2013.
The victim, now aged 19, told the court and jury that Officer Thomassie penetrated her in the living room of the family’s home, before forcing her into the dining room where he forced her to perform oral sex. The trial lasted for two days during the month of August 2015.
“I was laying on the couch, and he said he could ‘make me feel better’. He took my bottoms off. He made me get on all fours. He tried to put it inside of me and I didn’t let him, because it really hurt. When I told him to stop, he stopped. But he was mad and made me go into the other room. He told me to go into the dining room and get on my knees. … He just told me to shut up and be quiet, and don’t say nothing,” the victim told the court.
Her mother also confirmed the story to the court, saying the abuse took place when she was taking a nap in the bedroom. She said she woke up and saw the officer raping her daughter and she screamed for help.
After considering the facts presented, a jury found Thomassie guilty of aggravated rape. He has been placed on an emergency suspension without pay. According to the Filming Cops, Officer Thomassie could face life in prison.
Thomassie, a 13-year veteran of the NOPD, has been on administrative reassignment since July 2014, when the Public Integrity Bureau and Child Abuse Unit launched a joint investigation into the allegations.
After the ruling, NOPD Superintendent, Michael Harrison, condemned what his officer had done and called for peace between the officer’s and the victim’s family.
“I am disgusted by the unspeakable actions of this officer, and based on this conviction; I am taking immediate steps to remove him from within our ranks. There is no place in this department for officers who choose to commit acts of violence. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim, her family and the family of Officer Thomassie during this tragic situation,” Superintendent Harrison said.
Thomassie has since been arrested and taken to prison. The Public Integrity Bureau has said it will begin the civil service termination process of his appointment into the police immediately.
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