Plea Talks Postpone Hearing for NOPD Officer Marcellus White Who Abused Four Young Boys

Marcellus White, the former NOPD officer accused last year of raping or sexually molesting at least four young boys, is involved in “extensive talks” aimed at resolving his case through a plea agreement, an Orleans Parish prosecutor said Monday July 24th.

The advanced status of plea negotiations was revealed by assistant district attorney Hilary Khoury when White’s scheduled afternoon hearing in magistrate court was postponed. Senior prosecutor Mary Glass soon appeared to file a joint motion to continue, signed by White’s defense attorney Bruce Whittaker, waiving White’s speedy trial rights so that negotiations could continue.

“We are confident this case will be resolved very shortly,” Glass told Magistrate Commissioner Brigid Collins.

Whittaker was not in the courtroom, but later declined comment on White’s case.

White, 46, has been jailed since his arrest last Sept. 23. State law generally requires a person being held for a felony that carries a potential life sentence to be indicted by a parish grand jury within 120 days of arrest.

However, White’s deadline date has been extended with his consent, as his attorney works to find a resolution that perhaps won’t include his client finishing his life in the Angola penitentiary. Cannizzaro’s office also delayed its charging decision while federal authorities contemplated taking over the case.

Glass said Monday that the local U.S. Attorney’s Office has decided to leave the case to Cannizzaro’s office.

White has been jailed in Plaquemines Parish while awaiting a charging decision. His bond is set at $2,367,500 on allegations that include one count of first-degree rape, five counts of second-degree rape, three counts of molestation of a juvenile, three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, two counts of sexual battery, two counts of oral sexual battery, and single counts of simple kidnapping, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

White, a 19-year veteran of the NOPD, initially was arrested and placed on emergency suspension last September on an allegation that he had raped a 14-year-old male relative in his Algiers home. He resigned from the police force Nov. 21, when he was rebooked with 16 additional allegations, including five new counts of rape. NOPD investigators wrote in White’s arrest warrant affidavit that at least three other young male victims had come forward.

White’s sexual abuse of underage boys was “pervasive” and “spanned over years,” the second warrant said. The alleged victims were between 10 and 15 years old at the time they say they were molested, and in some cases raped or kidnapped. The sexual abuse occurred over a span of at least 16 years, the warrant said.

White had been assigned to the NOPD’s Fiscal Management department and most recently to the 2nd District policing Uptown. He previously served as part of a community policing squad assigned to the Iberville public-housing development, according to a 2009 Times-Picayune article. While in that role, White was a leader of the Iberville Scorpions Karate Academy, which he helped start in 1998 and continued to lead in 2009. At one point, the karate classes expanded into the Lafitte development, according to a 2002 Times-Picayune story about an academy event.

According to a 2001 Times-Picayune feature on White, he spent three nights a week at an Iberville area community center, teaching karate classes to about 40 neighborhood children.

“To dozens of children in the Iberville development, he is ‘Sensei Mark,’ their karate teacher, mentor, role model and friend,” the report said.

Sgt. Lawrence Jones of NOPD’s sex crimes unit wrote in his warrant request that White’s position as a police officer, karate instructor, and president of the Sigma Beta Club, which mentored children, “gave him access to his victims.”

White already has been named in two civil lawsuits alleging that he committed the sexual abuse while serving as president and supervisor of the New Orleans chapter of the Sigma Beta Club, a youth auxiliary of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The suits also accuse Phi Beta Sigma of negligence. The fraternity has denied knowledge of White’s alleged offenses.

Source: http://www.nola.com

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Filming Cops
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Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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