Fired officers defend partying with drunken teen: 'Doing what young men would do'
BATON ROUGE - Two law enforcement officers forced out of their jobs are adamant they did nothing wrong after being arrested following a night of partying with a 19-year-old and 17-year-old girl.
Kasey Jackson, 24, and Cory Champagne, 32, were arrested on simple battery charges. WBRZ first reported the story earlier this week - click here.
Jackson, a deputy for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's office, and Champagne, a police officer in Bunkie, were fired or resigned from their jobs after the arrest.
The men were arrested after a call for help from the 17-year-old who reported she was drinking and had been grabbed. While speaking with deputies investigating the case, at least one of the girls said they were being paid to take their clothes off.
The group were together at a house Jackson and Champagne share in the Hammond area.
In an earlier interview, family members of the 17-year-old said the girls went to the home after meeting the men at a club. But, the men disputed the girls' account in an interview with WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto Wednesday.
Jackson and Champagne claim the girls both came over on their own after meeting them outside of a club and invited the girls back to the house. The men admitted they were drinking but denied being the ones to provide alcohol to the girls who are not of drinking age.
During the interview, Jackson took issue with being questioned about someone under 21 drinking with him: "She's not a juvenile, she's a woman," Kasey Jackson said.
"She's not a minor," Cory Champagne also said in the interview. "At 17 years of age, she's considered an adult. Her age did not come through until midway through the night. She wasn't doing anything wrong. No one touched her or gave her alcohol."
The men admitted to offering the 19-year-old money to strip but said the 17-year-old was not participating.
"I'm allowed to have a private life and what happens in my home should be of no concern to the public," Champagne said, and added, "There was nothing that happened. It's a made up story. So at this point, if you believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want."
"I didn't break the law," Jackson said. "I'm a young man who had women at the house doing what young men would do and hanging out."
Their attorneys, David Rozas and Jarrett Ambeau, are strongly defending their clients and agree with the men that they did nothing wrong.
"There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving someone who is 17 alcohol in your own home," Ambeau said. "That's the law; It's not contributing to the delinquency of a minor."
Ambeau said both men's lives have been ruined.
"These young men have been fired from their jobs, lost their reputations," Ambeau said. "It's gotten bad. They're getting threats, terrible emails. Their families are being contacted."
The 17-year-old's family maintains the teenager's story is truthful.
"You're supposed to trust law enforcement," the girl's grandmother, Dannetia Orgeron, said. "That's the people you call for help. You're not supposed to be having to call someone to help you from law enforcement."
Both Champagne and Jackson maintain the victim is lying and see nothing illegal about the situation. Champagne also said his former boss, the Bunkie Police Chief, is not being truthful about Champagne resigning from the force.