Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Friday (Sept. 6) announced it had secured a guilty plea and 20-year prison sentence for a New Orleans man who raped a juvenile relative more than five years ago.
Kendrick Nelson averted his scheduled Sept. 16 trial for first-degree rape by entering into a plea agreement Thursday (Sept. 5) before Criminal District Judge Franz Zibilich. Nelson, who turns 23 this Sunday, pleaded guilty to an amended count of second-degree rape in exchange for an agreed-upon sentence of 20 years in state prison.
Nelson’s victim, a girl now in her early teens, read an impact statement to the court before the sentence was imposed.
The girl told New Orleans police investigators that when she first disclosed the sexual abuse that began between October 2012-October 2014, two relatives accused her of lying. The victim told police she became so distraught she had suicidal thoughts before Nelson was arrested in July 2018.
“This is a very sad situation, one this young girl never should have experienced,” Cannizzaro said. “But for her bravery and determination to cooperate fully in this prosecution, this sexual predator might have remained free to victimize others. Instead, he was compelled at last to plead guilty and be held accountable for this crime. I commend this victim for her courage, and our police and prosecutor for a job well done.”
The conviction also requires Nelson to register as a sex offender for a period of 25 years following his release from prison.
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Smart prosecuted the case.
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