Cop Took 14-Year-Old Girl To The ER For Rape Kit Exam & Gained Her Trust. Months Later, He Raped Her.

Cop Took 14-Year-Old Girl To The ER For Rape Kit Exam & Gained Her Trust. Months Later, He Raped Her.

The cop had a prior history of complaints against his predatory behavior

Image Source: Facebook/Criminal Matters

Trigger Warning: This story contains details of rape and child abuse that some readers may find disturbing

Last year, during the Memorial Day weekend, New Orleans police officer Rodney Vicknair was dispatched to a reported rape scene where a 14-year-old girl was involved. He was then asked to take the girl to the ER so she could get a rape kit exam done, reports The Washington Post. Once they were in the emergency room, Vicknair showed the girl images of a teenage girl in bikinis and lingerie, claiming the model in the picture was her daughter. Later, according to a lawsuit filed by the girl's mother, when the teenager was back home later that night, the cop called and asked to speak with the girl. He then allegedly shared his contact details with her, before delving into a series of personal questions. 



During the next four months, the cop gained the girl's trust by telling her to consider him as a "mentor" and as someone she could always trust, according to the lawsuit. He was regularly in touch with the victim, but on days he didn't text or call her, he would go her home and ask her to meet him in his patrol vehicle. Occasionally, he would take another cop with him, and while he sat in the car, Vicknair would go inside the house. This is how he began grooming the girl. He bombarded her for months with inappropriate calls, messages, and meetings, before sexually assaulting and raping her, alleges the girl's family in the lawsuit. 



Once inside the victim's house, Vicknair "would come up with pretexts" so he could be alone with her. On one occasion, the victim's mom got up to get him a glass of water, and he seized that opportunity to leer at the girl in a sexually aggressive manner. The same day, the suit alleges that Vicknair texted the now 15-year-old about the sexual acts he fantasized about her in his head while her mother stepped out. He'd also ask her to send him explicit pictures, and a couple of times, during video calls, he'd exposed his genitals and made sexual comments. Vicknair reportedly had sexually suggestive pictures of the girl as his screen's wallpaper. 



Eventually, he began molesting her, the 36-page-long suit alleged. During one of his meetings, Vicknair grabbed her behind and suggested they indulge in sexual acts, but the girl refused. “Officer Vicknair repeatedly described sexual acts he would like to engage in with G.H. and suggested the fact that she was a minor would not stop him," the suit states. However, the vile cop inserted his fingers inside the teen's vulva twice in his cop car. Both times, he was armed with a gun, and after one such incident, he took her underwear with her. The girl’s mother reported Vicknair to the Office of the Independent Police Monitor for inappropriate behavior days before he raped the girl again.



Sadly, no action was taken and he was allowed to roam the streets and rape again while an investigation was underway. In Louisiana, penetration with fingers doesn’t fall under the legal definition of rape, which the state has limited to non-consensual sexual intercourse, according to the lawsuit. In September last year, Vicknair was arrested and charged with sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile, and malfeasance in office over his conduct with the girl. When he was arrested, the girl's underwear was still in his possession. He placed on emergency suspension, according to Fox 8 Live



However, the victim's family believes that the department didn't do enough to stop Vicknair, especially since he had a prior history of complaints about his predatory behavior toward women. Per Vice, the 13-year-old veteran who joined the department in 2007 wasn't even part of a unit for special victims or victims of child abuse, to begin with. "Officer Vicknair was a singularly bad choice for this task," the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana states. "He was not a member of NOPD’s Special Victims or Child Abuse units, and he had a long list of citizen complaints of unprofessional and illegal conduct." 



Vicknair is a cop with a history of complaints filed by officers and civilians for misuse of force, verbal intimidation, and failure to follow department protocols.  Along with these allegations, he was also accused of using a woman’s license plate to recover her personal information so he could summon her to his cruiser by name. The woman later filed a complaint with the Public Integrity Bureau and the department found he had acted "inappropriately."  "He preyed on a single mother and her young daughter, a rape survivor, by positioning himself as a role model and protective male figure in their lives," Hope Phelps, the woman’s attorney, told The Post in an email.



"He then used that position to create distrust between them, isolating his target from her mother. He escalated from sexualizing the young girl to sexual assault and rape. As I stated from the moment this was brought to my attention, this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, who is also a defendant in the suit, said in an email. "These actions violate the basic trust citizens should never have to worry about with their police department." Attorneys said that the girl and her mother are on the road to recovery after this horrifying experience. "Investigation and trial are often retraumatizing experiences for rape survivors," Phelps told The Post. "In this case, our client and her daughter are shouldering a great burden to make sure Officer Vicknair and the system that made his actions possible are held to account."






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