Alleged Angola rape victim files federal suit; Claims sheriff, DA didn't do their jobs
BATON ROUGE- A federal lawsuit has been filed against West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, West Feliciana Sheriff Austin Daniel, and an assistant warden at Angola claiming a woman's civil rights were violated after those tasked with investigating allegations of a rape at Angola didn't follow basic investigative guidelines.
Priscilla Lefebure claims she was raped and sexually assaulted by Assistant Warden Barret Boeker on multiple occasions last year. Lefebure was staying at Boeker's residence at Angola's property after the August 2016 floods. Lefebure is related to Boeker's wife. Following Lefebure's allegation, she went to Woman's Hospital where a rape kit was performed.
The lawsuit states, "Both the District Attorney and the sheriff refused to examine or pick up Ms. Lefebure's rape kit and sexual assault examination."
Exhibits from the rape kit are attached in the lawsuit which includes diagrams of multiple contusions on Lefebure's body from the alleged sexual assault. The rape kit showed Lefebure's cervix was red and irritated at the time the exam was administered.
Despite not having the rape kit, District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla brought the case before a grand jury without the evidence from the rape kit.
"Defendant D'Aquilla made clear he never believed Ms. Lefebure and that, even though he had never met with her, he believed she was there to be deceptive," the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit goes on to say, "Defendant Sheriff Austin Daniel and Defendant District Attorney D'Aquilla did not pick up the rape kit and examination until, at the earliest, March 10, 2017. This was only days after WBRZ reported that the kit had not been retrieved or tested."
The lawsuit claims Lefebure's federal constitutional rights to equal protection and due process were violated. Lefebure's attorney, Michelle Rutherford called the lack of picking up a rape kit by elected officials egregious.
"Ms. Lefebure's main goal with this lawsuit is to hold Mr. Boeker and those who protected him, accountable," Rutherford said. "No victim should be so mistreated and disbelieved that the District Attorney refuses to collect or review physical evidence in the case."
Rutherford said she hopes the lawsuit sends a message that this can never happen again.
"The defendants cannot use their official positions and power to deny Ms. Lefebure those guaranteed constitutional rights."
A grand jury returned a no true bill, meaning it did not find enough evidence to formally charge, Boeker related to the rape.
Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto is working on this story. He is currently working to get responses from West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel and West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla.