Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Feb. 20) secured a indictment charging a man with the aggravated rape of a young boy inside an Algiers apartment prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Luis Rodriguez Jr. was charged with a single count of aggravated rape in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Rodriguez, 33, faces a mandatory lifetime prison term if found guilty of the charge.
The victim, who as a child sometimes was left in Rodriguez’s care, did not disclose the sexual abuse to family members or New Orleans police for more than a decade. But in October 2019, he alleged a series of sexual assaults committed by Rodriguez between Sept. 30, 2001-Aug. 29, 2005. The victim was between the ages of 6 and 9 years old, and Rodriguez was between 15 and 19, when the abuse is alleged to have occurred.
At the time of the alleged offense, one way for a sex crime to constitute an aggravated rape was for the victim to be under the age of 13. The Louisiana legislature has since mandated similar offenses (occurring on or after Aug. 1, 2015) be designated as first-degree rape, carrying the same mandatory life sentence upon conviction.
The victim told relatives and police that Rodriguez sexually abused him in his family’s former residence in the Christopher Park Homes, a troubled public housing project in Algiers that has since been demolished. He said the sexual abuse continued for about four years, ending before his 10th birthday when Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent city flood forced his family to relocate.
Rodriguez was arrested on Nov. 14, 2019, about three weeks after the victim’s father reported the offense to the NOPD. The defendant has remained in custody at the Orleans Justice Center jail since, in lieu of a $100,000 bond. A defense motion to lower Rodriguez’s bond was denied in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court following a preliminary hearing held Jan. 16.
Assistant District Attorney Payal Patel presented the case to the grand jury.
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