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Chief: Prison guard who was raped pressed panic button 12 times calling for help

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ST. GABRIEL- The Elayn Hunt prison guard who was allegedly raped Friday by 29-year old Erick Dehart, pressed a panic button at least 12 times during the encounter but no help arrived, according to Police Chief Kevin Ambeau.

Ambeau said the guard told investigators in her statement that it was a "sneak attack."

"It was inside a key," Ambeau said. "Inside one of the cell blocks. He came up behind her, she wasn't paying attention and he walked in behind her. He dragged her into the bathroom."

The guard told investigators that she was in a dorm with more than 60 inmates when the rape occurred. Ambeau said Dehart used a homemade shank and held it to her neck.

"He threatened her life," Ambeau said. "That if she screamed or made any noise he would kill her."

Dehart was serving time for an armed robbery conviction out of Terrebonne Parish and a simple burglary out of Lafourche Parish. Following the alleged rape, he was transferred to Angola.

The Department of Corrections issued scant information on Friday. Monday, the WBRZ Investigative Unit inquired about why the guard was alone with that many inmates and also asked about the panic button.

"Being that this matter is under investigation, it would be inappropriate to provide any further details at this time," Communications Director Ken Pastorick said in an email.

Ambeau said in his 17 years as police chief in St. Gabriel, this is the first rape he can recall of a prison guard by an inmate at Elayn Hunt.

Dehart was charged with aggravated rape.

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