New Orleans police have issued an arrest warrant for a man already behind bars. He now faces charges of kidnapping and raping a teen. Authorities believe this crime has ties to three parishes and it's renewed concerns about violent crime in Treme.
Police say the woman was walking in the 700 block of North Villere on August 17 when a vehicle stopped beside her and two suspects got out.
One man allegedly covered the victim's head with a towel, the other put her in a choke hold. Then, she was driven to Vickers Lane in Montz, a remote area of St. Charles Parish, where police say she was repeatedly raped by both men.
"Her eyes had hematomas in both eyes, you know where your blood vessels rupture and the eyes are red and marks indicating she'd been the victim of a forcible choke hold," explained Sheriff Champagne.
Deputies arrested 20-year-old Kevin Allen for the crime, charging him with aggravated rape, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping. He also faces a kidnapping charge in New Orleans. A second arrest is imminent, according to police.
But the news does not sit well with Treme residents.
"[It] just makes me want more security in the neighborhood, more of a police presence," said Vanessa Joseph.
Many wonder how this could've happened - right outside Bertha's Place bar - without anyone witnessing or trying to stop the kidnapping.
"The timing of it, it's pretty odd because 3:00 Sunday morning is pretty active in this area so it's quite strange," said Bruce Ayanyemi Jackson.
After the victim was taken to Montz and allegedly sexually assaulted, she was brought to Kenner and dropped off, five hours after the ordeal began. Investigators say she was able to flag someone down for help, who called 911.
Kirk Joseph says he's praying for the victim, and his community.
"[I] hope she's doing better, I really do. But something needs to be done," Joseph commented.
Kevin Allen is currently being held on a $1 million bond. In addition to raping the victim, the sheriff says the suspects also robbed her, taking her cell phone, identification and money.