Twice convicted child sex offender arrested for 30-year-old teen - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Twice convicted child sex offender arrested for 30-year-old teen rape

Joseph Gable Wood, Sr., 67 Joseph Gable Wood, Sr., 67
BELLE CHASSE, LA (WVUE) - A former Plaquemines Parish resident was arrested last Friday for the rape of a teenager more than 30 years ago in Port Sulpher.

According to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office, Joseph Gable Wood, Sr., 67, of Panama City, FL was extradited back to Louisiana as the result of an investigation into sex crimes committed by Wood after it was reported that he had repeatedly sexually abused and raped a victim throughout her childhood. 

The crimes began when the victim was 5-years-old and lasted until she was 14. 

During the investigation, detectives learned that the abuse started in 1975 when Wood lived in Pascagoula, Mississippi. In 1977, he moved to Port Sulphur, where the abuse progressively got worse. After each occurrence, Wood threatened the victim by telling her to keep her mouth shut and that he would kill her if she told anyone about the abuse.

In April 1985, Wood forced the victim to have sexual intercourse with him at an abandoned fishing camp in Plaquemines Parish. Detectives were able to obtain evidence and link Wood to that crime.

The PPSO says Wood is no stranger to law as it relates to him sexually abusing children. According to his criminal history record, he has been convicted twice of sex crimes in Florida and is a registered sex offender.

On January 28, 2015, a Florida jury found Wood guilty as charged of lewd or lascivious battery and lewd or lascivious conduct on a 13-year-old girl. Wood's wife found him engaged in a sex act with the young girl on November 2, 2013. That investigation determined that Wood molested the victim over a six-year period.

More than twenty years earlier in June of 1992, Wood was arrested by the Panama, Florida City Police Department for two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct upon a child under the age of 16. 

According to court records, Wood fondled one of his daughter's 13-year-old friend who had visited his home during two consecutive sleep-over weekends. On September 21, 1993, Wood was found guilty and sentenced to four years at hard labor and 10 years of probation.

The sheriff's office believes he committed additional sex crimes. Possible victims may be in the Gulf Coast region, particularly in the areas of Pascagoula, Mississippi, Panama City, Florida, Morgan City, Louisiana and Plaquemines Parish. 

Wood appeared in court on June 1 for a hearing. He was held without bail pending a bond hearing that is scheduled for Friday, June 5.

Wood remains in the custody of the Sheriff's Office. If found guilty of the crimes, he could possibly be sentenced to life in prison.

Other victims or individuals with information are urged to contact Detective Sergeant Aaron Verrette at 504-564-2525 or 504-297-5277, or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll free at 877-903-STOP.

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