Louisiana family says New Orleans officer sexually assaulted teenage girl
Policeman Rodney Vicknair is said to have attacked the girl over the course of a few months – including when she was on her way to a hospital for a rape kit.
A Louisiana family has filed a lawsuit against Rodney Vicknair, a former New Orleans police officer who allegedly sexually assaulted their teenage daughter – who was supposed to be taken to a hospital for a rape kit.
KIRO7 reports that Vicknair was arrested in September and has since been charged with sexual violence, indecent behavior among young people and professional misconduct.
The victim, says the girl’s family, was only 14 years old at the time of the attack – and had experienced sexual abuse as a child.
A family lawyer, Hope Phelps, told VICE News that Vicknair had taken advantage of the girl and her young single mother’s trust.
“He hunted down a single mother and her young daughter, a rape survivor, by positioning himself as the role model and protective male figure in their lives,” Phelps said in a statement. “Then he used that position to create suspicion between them and isolate his target from their mother. It escalated from the sexualization of the young girl to sexual assault and rape. “
Vicknair was a 13-year veteran in the New Orleans Police Department at the time of the attack. He was placed on emergency suspension immediately after his arrest and was released earlier this year.
Don’t cross the close-ups of police barricades. Image by David von Diemar via Unsplash.com.
Shaun Ferguson, the city’s police commissioner, told KIRO7 that his department had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to see if Vicknar had violated her mother’s victim and civil rights.
“As I said, this type of behavior will not be tolerated from the moment it was brought to my attention,” said Ferguson. “These actions violate a fundamental trust that citizens should never worry about in their police force.”
However, it appears that police repeatedly ignored signs and indicators that Vicknair was not operational.
According to the family’s lawsuit, Vicknair had a poor performance record and should not have been considered qualified to deal with an underage rape victim.
“Officer Vicknair was a particularly poor choice for the job,” the lawsuit said. “He was not a member of the NOPD Special Victims or Child Abuse Units, and he had a long list of complaints from citizens about unprofessional and illegal behavior.”
Vicknair, for example, had molested other women. In one incident, he and other off-duty New Orleans police officers used their license plate scanner to check a woman’s license plates for pending arrest warrants. When none were discovered, Vicknair called the woman “by name” to her car and pretended to know her.
In another case, Vicknair verbally assaulted a homeless woman who called the police after her romantic partner died of a heroin overdose.
“I’ll bet if I checked your name you’d have arrest warrants,” Vicknair said.
In the latter incident, Vicknair was taped making other inappropriate statements and laughing in front of the deceased’s girlfriend about the homeless man’s death.
Vicknair, KIRO7 adds, repeated similar behavior with the 14-year-old rape victim – from the first day he met her, he allegedly began “grooming” her for abuse, showing her pictures of other allegedly underage girls in swimwear and Lingerie.
Vicknair then visited the girls’ home and molested them several times over the course of about four months. The lawsuit accuses Vicknair of digitally penetrating her at least twice in his patrol car.
Phelps told FOX8 that Vicknair’s misconduct is likely to result in psychological trauma as well as lifelong distrust of the police.
“What happened to them is so traumatic,” said. “The cost of consulting and putting your life together after something like that. You know your trust in the police and health care providers, as well as anyone in authority, has been broken. This is very harmful, especially at this young age. “
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