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Alleged sex abuse victim files federal lawsuit against the City of New Orleans and a former NOPD Lieutenant

Updated: Feb. 11, 2021 at 10:20 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The year was 1982, and former Lieutenant Donald Moore ran the NOPD’s Explorers Scout program. Police designed the program as a safe environment to teach children about careers in law enforcement. But as a new federal lawsuit against the City of New Orleans and the now deceased Moore alleges, the head of the Explorers used the program to abuse kids.

According to the alleged victim, he joined the Explorers at 16 and was placed in Moore’s care. For 18 months, he says Moore sexually abused him and other minors in the program.

“I’m certainly not going to be surprised if more victims come out because it looks like these guys had their little set up going with their Explorers program and they were doing it allegedly to multiple people so maybe some of those people are going to come forward,” said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

As part of our investigation, FOX 8 obtained the case file against Lt. Donald Moore. Police reports show while investigating the allegations of sexual misconduct by Moore and Explorer Scout Post 141, investigators “talked to over 50 young boys between the ages of 15 and 18. Of those interviewed, investigators have discovered that 10 boys, all 17 and under, have been victim of indecent behavior and contributing to their delinquency by Lieutenant Moore,” both in City Park in 1984 and at a New Orleans East apartment complex in 1983.

The file includes reports that Moore victimized boys in Mississippi, Florida, Grand Isle as well as in his patrol car and in an NOPD van issued to him through the Explorers Scout program.

The lawsuit questions whether or not Lt. Moore ever faced consequences,” upon information and belief, defendant Moore was charged and arrested, but was never punished for his depraved sexual abuse of plaintiff.”

But, in the Moore file, we discovered a document from the United States Department of Justice dated January 3, 1985. It states Moore received five years probation for three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. A Times Picayune article from that time reports Moore pleaded guilty to the charges.

“From what you showed me it looks like he got sentenced to five years probation, it kind of shocks you when you see that for what this man was alleged to have done for that type of a sentence,” said Raspanti.

Stanley Burkhardt was tasked with investigating Lt. Moore and the Explorers program. Burkhardt, who was the former head of the NOPD Pedophile Investigation Unit is now a convicted pedophile himself in federal prison. It was recent news coverage of Burkhardt that eventually set the suit in motion.

In the lawsuit, Moore’s alleged victim claims while watching a local television news program in July of 2019, an image of Burkhardt appeared on the screen. He says that image triggered repressed memories of being interviewed by Burkhardt in connection with the Moore investigation. The lawsuit details numerous graphic memories from the alleged victim’s sexual abuse.

Sex abuse survivor Richard Windmann relates. He sued the city claiming it failed to protect him from Stanley Burkkhardt’s sexual abuse when he was a teen back in the 1970′s.

“I feel very bad for the survivor. I know what it’s like to have those memories come back. You know, a lot of survivors, we all have, without exception, PTSD, depression,” said Windmann.

Burkhardt was not only assigned to investigate the Moore case but the file shows he conducted interviews with Moore’s victims. The lawsuit says “defendants Stanley Burkhardt and the New Orleans Police Department knew or should have known of Donald Moore’s criminal acts and failed to prevent Moore from overseeing the Explorer’s program.” The suit also says “Stanley Burkhardt as a convicted pedophile failed to properly investigate other known pedophiles in the New Orleans Police Department.” According to the lawsuit, Moore’s alleged victim “feared that his life was in danger, while being shadowed by Detective Burkhardt’s police detail.”

“It’s the classic fox guarding the hen house situation. It’s troubling obviously that you have these people who are placed in a position of trust,” said Raspanti.

“What I would like to see is a full accounting of all of Stanley Burkhardt’s investigations, his work at the NOPD. I think that is very important for the department, the city and the people of New Orleans to know,” said Windmann.

Since July of 2019, the alleged victim of Lt. Moore says he has “unsuccessfully struggled to stop the recovery of memories, which have forced him to re-live the abuse suffered at the hands of defendant Moore.” He claims the intensity of his distress “has re-activated suicidal thoughts and impulses.”

We reached out to the City and the NOPD about the Moore lawsuit as well as Windmann’s case but the City says it has no comment due to pending litigation. The plaintiff’s attorney in the Moore lawsuit declined an on-camera interview but says “the statements in the record of the US District Court speak for themselves and that this is a very serious claim for which the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department will have to answer.” He adds their “investigation is ongoing.”

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