Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Feb. 14) secured the conviction of a serial rapist who sexually assaulted four women in the Central City and Irish Channel neighborhoods of New Orleans between 1992-2003.
An Orleans Parish jury deliberated just over two hours before finding Sherman Hampton guilty as charged on three counts of aggravated rape, and guilty of one lesser count of simple rape. He is to receive three mandatory lifetime prison sentences on the aggravated rape convictions, and up to 25 years on the simple rape verdict, when Criminal District Judge Robin Pittman imposes his sentence on Feb. 22.
Hampton, 64, was linked to separate attacks on four women starting more than 26 years ago. They included:
- The rape of a woman near the former St. Thomas housing development in June 1992. The 29-year-old victim was abducted from a bus stop near Jackson Avenue and St. Thomas Street. She was taken to a nearby abandoned building, where she was bound, gagged and raped.
- The rape of a woman in an apartment building stairwell in the 2100 block of Third Street in May 1995. This victim was raped around 3 a.m. with a gun pressed
against her head.
- The rape of a woman in the 4200 block of Freret Street in April 2003. The jury found Hampton guilty of the lesser simple rape in this case, which police initially reported to be unfounded.
- The rape of a woman in the 2100 block of South Liberty Street in May 2003. This victim awoke to find Hampton inside her home shortly before 5 a.m., when he put a knife to her throat and raped her.
DNA evidence returned in 2006 played a critical role in identifying Hampton as the armed sexual predator who victimized the women, and all four victims testified in this week’s trial. Arrest warrants for the sex crimes were obtained by New Orleans police investigators while Hampton was in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, serving a 10-year
sentence for a burglary committed in 2004.
A miscommunication between police and corrections officials led to Hampton mistakenly being released after completing his burglary sentence in August 2013. But he was returned to custody in October 2013, after NOPD officers stopped him for riding a bicycle against traffic in Central City, and discovered his open warrants.
“I’m grateful for the observant police officers who arrested this wanted sexual predator five years ago before he could strike again,” Cannizzaro said. “And I’m especially proud of our prosecutors for delivering long-overdue justice to these victims. Their wait has been interminable, their pain has been acute for more than 16 years. I hope this verdict gives them relief and comfort. Because of their brave testimony, this brutal rapist won’t be free to hurt anyone again.”
Assistant District Attorneys Angad Ghai and Tiffany Tucker prosecuted the case.
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