Marcellus White, the former New Orleans police officer and youth karate instructor once accused of more than a dozen sex crimes against young boys, was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday (Oct. 30) as part of a plea agreement.
White, 46, resolved his case by pleading guilty to five counts of sexual battery against victims under the age 13. Criminal District Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier accepted the guilty plea, which she noted also includes lifetime registration as a sex offender.
“What you have done is reprehensible,” the judge told White. “If it was up to me, you would stay in jail for life.”
White, 46, was arrested in September 2016 after a teen male relative reported being raped at the 19-year veteran police officer’s Algiers apartment in March or early April 2016, when he was 14. White was booked with felony counts of second-degree rape, molestation of a juvenile and indecent behavior with a juvenile. The NOPD placed White on emergency administrative suspension from his duty patrolling the 2nd District in Uptown.
Officers lined up to express their disgust and indignation over Marcellus White’s disgrace of their badge.
After White’s arrest, more victims came forward, including several alleging that White sexually abused them while serving as “Sensei Mark,” teaching martial arts at the Iberville Scorpions Karate Academy he helped found in 1998 and other locations.
White was rebooked last Nov. 21 with more than a dozen additional allegations, including a first-degree rape count that would carry a mandatory life sentence and five counts of second-degree rape each punishable by up to 40 years. White resigned from the NOPD that day.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Flemings-Davillier sentenced White to 25 years on each of the five counts, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
“This court has agreed to this plea agreement, at the request of the state and defense counsel, so as to spare the victims and their families the ordeal of a trial,” Flemings-Davillier said. “But I think it’s pretty reprehensible that there was any type of plea agreement in this case. Nevertheless, I have accepted this plea and I hope you will take this time to repent for your sins.”