BELLE CHASSE, LA (WVUE) - A Madisonville man was arrested and charged with the rape of a teenager nearly 15 years ago in Belle Chasse.
Phillip Wayne Constanza, of 33 Adrianne Street, Madisonville, LA was taken into custody without incident by St. Tammany Parish deputies on December 23 during a traffic stop on the Northshore.
Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office detectives had obtained an arrest warrant for Constanza on December 22. He was transported to Belle Chasse on Christmas Eve and booked into the Belle Chasse Lockup for his warrant.
On December 16, 2015, the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit in Plaquemines Parish launched an investigation into Constanza. Investigators learned that he repeatedly raped the victim throughout her childhood. The crimes began when the victim was 7-years-old and continued until she was 15.
Detectives say Constanza raped the victim in Plaquemines Parish from 1999 to 2002. The incidents took place at two different residences in Belle hasse. At the time of those crimes, the victim was between 12 and 15 years of age.
When the victim was 7 to 11-years-old, she was raped by Constanza at different locations outside of Plaquemines Parish. Investigators are currently working with other law enforcement agencies to determine locations and times of the assaults. Additional charges are likely to be filed.
The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office is releasing Constanza's identity because detectives believe he may have committed additional sex crimes in the New Orleans metropolitan area. Other victims or individuals with information are urged to contact Detective Sergeant Aaron Verrette at 504-564-2525, or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111 or toll free at 877-903-STOP.
The Plaquemines Parish encounters were reportedly violent in nature. On one occasion, Constanza pointed a pistol at the victim, ordered her to disrobe and subsequently raped her. During another incident, Constanza beat the victim with a stick before raping her. He punched the victim in the jaw during another rape when she tried to fight him back.
In November 2002, Constanza forced the victim to have sexual intercourse with him at a home in Belle Chasse. Detectives have possible evidence from that crime and are in the process of having it analyzed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory.
Investigators say Constanza told the victim the sexual abuse was "our secret" and told her to not tell anyone. The victim did not report the crimes recently because she was afraid of Constanza.
According to his criminal record, Constanza was arrested in Jefferson Parish on July 28, 1986 for attempted murder.
During an interview Constanza told detectives he didn't remember any of the incidents. But he said the victim was not lying and had no reason to lie.
Constanza appeared in the 25th Judicial District Court on Monday for a magistrate hearing. He was ordered to be held without bail pending a bond hearing that is scheduled for Wednesday, December 30. He is being held at the Detention Center in Davant.
If convicted of aggravated rape, Constanza faces a possible sentence of life in prison.