No Louisiana resident ever expects to be arrested and accused of sex crimes. Nevertheless, sex crimes accusations can happen to anyone, regardless of whether they are guilty. Such accusations can arise many years after the alleged event is said to have occurred. Also, a previous conviction could be overturned by a higher court for any number of reasons, and the individual could face re-indictment and retrial for the same accusations.
Recently, prosecutors in Jefferson Parish announced that they will retry a man who was accused and convicted of raping and sexually brutalizing a girl nearly 16 years ago. The event is alleged to have happened in the girl's home when she was eight years of age. The man who was found guilty in the incident is now 49 years of age.
In this particular case, the man was sentenced to death. However, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court nullified his death sentence, deciding that executing an individual for child rape represented cruel and unusual punishment. As a result, his previous punishment was converted to life in prison. Later, however, the rape conviction was tossed out, and now the man is being re-indicted to face a new trial.
The likely punishment for this man, if convicted, will be another life sentence. Therefore, his defense counsel will be pressed to assert legal defenses that could serve to help the man avoid such a punishment. Nevertheless, this sex crimes case is certainly unique. It has already had groundbreaking effects on Louisiana law, which formerly supported execution for child rape, so it will be interesting to see what additional developments may come from the litigation.
Source: bayoubuzz.com, Patrick Kennedy to be re-indicted in rape of 8-year-old girl in Harvey, No author, Dec. 17, 2013