Alleged rape victim says NOPD mishandled case

Alleged rape victim says NOPD mishandled case

An alleged rape victim, along with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred, claims the NOPD botched her case. They made the claim Friday at a news conference outside the Sixth District station.

"On Mardi Gras night, I was raped in my hotel by a security guard while my husband was out of the room. I reported it to the hotel and to the police," said the woman, who is not being identified by name.

The woman, a mother and homemaker, and her husband, a doctor, are from Texas. They say after the alleged rape, the woman went to the hospital and a rape kit was performed.

"There was blood in the room and I had bruises all over. I felt traumatized," she said.

"I spoke with the physicians at the hospital. I was in the room during all the exams. All of the signs we were seeing were signs of forcible assault or rape," said the victim's husband.

The couple said that after leaving New Orleans, they called Detective Vernon Haynes, who was handling the case - only to find out that the case had been closed.

"He did say that they were able to identify the alleged rapist through DNA. The detective told our client's husband that he spoke to the accused individual and because he said it was consensual, that was the end of it," said Allred.

Haynes is one of five detectives who just a week ago became the focus of a scathing Inspector General's report. The report revealed how hundreds of sex crimes cases were mishandled, with little or no follow-up investigation.

"There was no regard for the rights or feelings of victims," Allred said.

"The process that you're seeing today is just the beginning of a long process of reopening hundreds of sexual assault kits by members of the sex crimes special task force," said Commander Paul Noel.

The NOPD has already taken steps to control the damage, placing the Commander of the Second District - Noel - in charge of the Special Victims Unit. Noel is also leading a task force that's re-investigating 271 cases.

All five detectives who were involved are now assigned to desk duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Allred said her client will not remain silent, and the case deserves to be reopened.

"Just delayed is justice denied. Our client has been denied justice, but it is not too late for justice to prevail," she said.

The Inspector General's report looked at more than 1,200 cases from 2011 until 2013. This alleged rape happened in March of this year, so it was not included in the report. The NOPD, though, says it will reopen the case.

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