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An ex-officer accused of sexually assaulting a teen rape victim faces federal charges

A New Orleans police vehicle patrols Bourbon Street.
Jonathan Bachman
/
Reuters
A New Orleans police vehicle patrols Bourbon Street.

A former New Orleans police officer is facing a federal charge related to the alleged sexual assault of a victim, the Justice Department announced on Thursday.

While acting in his role as a New Orleans police officer, 55-year-old Rodney Vicknair allegedly committed a civil rights violation when he sexually assaulted a victim (identified only as V1 in court documents) two years ago, the department said.

Vicknair was charged through a bill of information, and he has been ordered to appear in court on Oct. 7.

This is not the first time allegations of this nature have been made against Vicknair.

Last year, the mother of a 14-year-old girl sued Vicknair, claiming he had raped her daughter.

In May 2020, Vicknair, in his capacity as an officer, transported the unnamed teen to the hospital to receive an examination following a rape. Vicknair used this incident to groom the girl for months, only to later rape the girl himself at least two times, the mother alleges.

The lawsuit, filed in a U.S. District Court in Louisiana, also states that Vicknair "had a long list of citizen complaints of unprofessional and illegal conduct." The mother is also suing the city of New Orleans, in part, for keeping Vicknair on the force despite these concerns against him, the lawsuit says.

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