Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Friday (Aug. 30) announced it has secured an indictment charging a New Orleans man with kidnapping and raping a woman visiting the city’s Central Business District and French Quarter six months ago.
Thomas Anthony Singleton was charged with first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping in the two-count indictment handed up Aug. 29 by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Singleton, 33, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the rape charge, and 5 to 40 years if found guilty of the kidnapping count.
Criminal District Judge Benedict Willard set a $500,000 bond amount on each count, for a total of $1 million.
Singleton is alleged to have preyed upon a 52-year-old woman visiting from Texas with her same-sex spouse. The woman told New Orleans police that while her partner was playing blackjack at the Harrah’s New Orleans casino, she decided to take a walk outside for a few blocks between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m.
The woman said she was grabbed by the arm and pulled into an alley by a man, who pulled down her jeans and underwear and raped her. The assault left the woman bleeding profusely from a severe vaginal laceration that required emergency surgery.
Before receiving medical attention, however, the victim managed to coax her assailant into returning to Harrah’s with her. Once inside, the woman grabbed the man around the waist and screamed to a desk clerk that the man had just raped her. Casino security personnel responded to the commotion, but the attacker walked out of the building before New Orleans police were called.
The victim was able to complete part of a hospital sexual assault kit examination before being taken into surgery. A swab of her neck provided a DNA sample that returned a match to a sample of Singleton’s that was stored in the national CODIS database (Combined DNA Indexing System). Singleton was found jailed in Plaquemines Parish on unrelated charges after the CODIS hit was reported on March 23.
NOPD sex crimes detective Brandon McDonald obtained a buccal swab and a statement from Singleton on April 24. Confirmation of the DNA match from that sample to the one taken from the victim was reported by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab in June.
Assistant District Attorney Mary Glass, who heads the OPDA’s SAKI Unit (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative) which specializes in DNA evidence, presented the case to the grand jury.
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