Louisiana news briefs
Charenton man pleads in assault
LAFAYETTE (AP) — A 38-year-old Charenton man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman and a Chitimacha tribal police officer.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says David Frederick entered the plea last week before U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik. He faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release for the assault on the officer. He also faces up to six months in prison and a $250,000 fine for the assault within Indian Country count.
Finley’s office says the alleged assault of Frederick’s girlfriend occurred near her job on Chitimacha tribal lands. After he was arrested, he attacked the officer and tried to take his handgun. Frederick was subdued after pepper spray and a Taser were deployed.
Former teacher arrested on molestation count
LAFAYETTE (AP) — A 25-year-old man says he is the victim of the former Catholic High-New Iberia teacher arrested last week and accused of molesting one of her male students 10 years ago.
Phillip LeBourgeois said he was a minor attending Catholic High-New Iberia when he was allegedly abused by his teacher, 48-year-old Paula Latiolais.
Iberia Parish sheriff’s deputies arrested Latiolais following an investigation into an allegation that she molested one of her 15-year-old students about 10 years ago.
Capt. Ryan Turner said the “sexual encounters” continued over a period of years.
Latiolais was booked into the Iberia Parish Jail on Friday and released the same day on $35,000 bail.
It was unclear whether Latiolais has an attorney.
Audit questions SLU’s record keeping
BATON ROUGE (AP) — A state audit finds Southeastern Louisiana University either misplaced or lost more than $50,000 worth of computer equipment it loaned to high schools as part of a program to encourage disadvantaged students to go to college.
A report from Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera also finds fault in other areas surrounding SLUs handling of the federal TRIO Talent Search initiative.
The findings include the Hammond university’s habit of admitting students into the program without the proper paperwork and letting student workers get away with claiming hours worked at times when they were supposed to be in class.
13-year-old faces attempted murder charge
SLIDELL (AP) — A 13-year-old is facing an attempted murder charge after he reportedly stabbed his mother’s fiancé with a knife over the weekend.
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday the man was trying to discipline the 13-year-old Sunday when an argument ensued. The boy then grabbed a large kitchen knife and stabbed the man in the neck.
of sex crimes gets bond reduced
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A judge has reduced the bond of a suspended New Orleans police officer indicted on several sex charges. After reviewing evidence on Tuesday, the judge agreed to cut 42-year-old Desmond Pratt’s bond from $500,000 to $400,000.
But citing “significant” evidence against Pratt on certain charges, the judge refused to budge any further, and the officer remained jailed.
Pratt, a former homicide detective, has been suspended without pay since April 17, when internal investigators arrested him on counts of forcible rape.
A state grand jury indicted Pratt in August, charging him charging him with counts of aggravated incest, sexual battery and carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
Pratt’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, said previously that Pratt denies all allegations made against him.
Former Rapides nurse pleads guilty to battery
ALEXANDRIA (AP) — A 49-year-old male nurse whose conviction for sexual battery on a male patient at a hospital was overturned last month has pleaded guilty to a felony charge that will not require him to register as a sex offender.
Phillip Wayne Raines pleaded guilty to aggravated second degree battery — a violent crime and a felony.
State District Judge Thomas M. Yeager sentenced Raines to 10 years in prison at hard labor, followed by two years of supervised probation. The judge suspended eight years, 11 months of the prison sentence.
A patient at Rapides Regional Medical Center accused Raines in 2009 of sexual assault while the patient was under anesthesia and in Raines’ care after having an appendectomy.
Lafayette charter schools ready
for 2014 opening
LAFAYETTE (AP) — Two groups approved to start three charter schools in Lafayette Parish say they are on track to open schools as planned in August and one is already starting to look for key staff to run its schools.
In October, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved a total of five new charter schools by two charter groups to open in the parish between 2014 and 2017.
The first three are scheduled to open in time for the next school year.
“We’re in negotiations for two properties,” Jay Miller, a board member of Louisiana Achievement Charter Academies said. The group is opening two K-8 schools in the parish — one in August and the other by 2015 — in partnership with the charter management company National Heritage Academies.
Contracts should be in hand in early December for the two schools set for an August opening by the Lafayette Charter Foundation, said Mary Louella Cook, foundation president.
The group joined with charter management company Charter Schools USA to open three schools in the parish: two K-8 schools in August and a high school by 2017.
One of the K-8 schools will be built in Sugar Mill Pond in Youngsville; the second is planned for Couret Place, a new development in north Lafayette.
Cook said the foundation is accepting applications for principals with a goal of hiring its two school leaders by February or March.
Miller said his board will begin its staff search after its construction contracts for schools are squared away.
Both groups’ boards will meet in December, though details are still being worked out for such things as meeting locations and sites for temporary offices.