NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A 54-year-old New Orleans East man has admitted to molesting two young children over the course of several years, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Rickey Hookfin pleaded guilty Monday (Aug. 12), to two counts of second-degree rape and one count each of indecent behavior with a juvenile under age 17, sexual battery with a juvenile under age 13 and indecent behavior with a juvenile under 13.
The DA’s office said Hookfin was initially charged with one count of first-degree rape and one count of second-degree rape, but prosecutors agreed to amend the first-degree charge in exchange for a guilty plea.
According to the DA’s office, Hookfin molested one of his victims for six years, starting when she was 9-years-old. Hookfin later abused a young boy, starting when he was just 3-years-old.
It was not clear how Hookfin came into contact with his victims.
Hookfin’s plea came just over a month before his Sept. 16 trial was scheduled to start. Criminal District Franz Zibilich sentenced him to 18 years in state prison. Upon his release, Hookfin must register as a sex offende, the DA said.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in a statement the now adult victim approved the terms of Hookfin’s plea deal, as did the second victim’s family. Cannizzaro said by securing a plea, prosecutors spared the victims and their family from reliving their abuse in trial.
“These are the kinds of cases that keep you up at night,” Cannizzaro said. "For someone to victimize an innocent child to whom he has regular access over a period of years, and then to violate trust again by starting the cycle anew with another child, is simply deplorable. I commend the courage of the older victim in coming forward when she realized it was happening again to someone else.