Louisiana State Trooper Arrested in New Orleans For Rape of 16-Year-Old Girl

New Orleans police jailed a Louisiana State Police trooper Tuesday evening on allegations that he raped a 16-year-old girl, according to authorities.

Leander Journee, 36, faces one count of third-degree rape. He had posted a $25,000 bond to secure his release from custody by Wednesday morning and will be due back at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court at a later date.

In a statement Wednesday, State Police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves said Journee had immediately been placed on administrative leave, and troopers had taken back his agency-issued equipment.

A person who answered a telephone number associated with Journee on Tuesday night declined to comment.

The girl initially told a friend, and then her mother, that she’d been raped by Journee, whom she knew, at her home in Gentilly on June 11 while her mother was at work, police said in court documents filed Wednesday. She went to a relative’s home and told a friend what had happened.

The friend contacted the girl’s mother, who spoke to her daughter and then called the New Orleans Police Department on June 13.

The girl was taken to Children Hospital’s to undergo a sexual assault examination, commonly referred to as a rape kit, which police seized. She also spoke to a forensic interviewer at the Children’s Advocacy Center, relaying an account that was consistent with what she’d told her mother, police said.

Meanwhile, Journee threw away the clothes she was wearing during the alleged encounter and then threw away his own clothes, the girl’s mother told police.

Police said they swabbed Journee’s cheek for DNA over the weekend to compare with evidence found on the girl. On Tuesday afternoon, NOPD Sgt. Corey Lymous obtained a warrant to arrest Journee.

He surrendered a few hours later with his attorney, David Belfield.

Belfield on Wednesday said Journee denies any sexual contact between him and the girl. He also described Journee as a trooper with a clean record.

Journee made a brief appearance Wednesday morning in front of Magistrate Court Judge Harry Cantrell, who had pre-set the trooper’s bail. Cantrell ordered Journee not to go near or contact the girl or her family.

Belfield said his client would comply with that order.

Journee graduated from the State Police Training Academy in 2007 and was placed in Troop B, which is based in Kenner. He was most recently assigned to the agency’s Bureau of Investigations Criminal Intelligence Unit.

In Louisiana, third-degree rape is defined as sex with someone who didn’t or legally couldn’t give consent. That statute doesn’t mention an element of force or threat of physical violence, which the first- and second-degree rape laws do.

Anyone convicted of third-degree rape can face a maximum of 25 years in prison, but there is no mandatory minimum punishment.

Source: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/crime_police/article_9444fc86-748b-11e8-8c58-1bc7d341fc8c.html