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Louisiana Police Chief Faces Civil and Criminal Actions for Sexual Assault of Detainee

A Louisiana woman offered to accept $500,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging that she was sexually assaulted after her arrest by Sorrento police chief Earl Theriot, Jr. The offer came about a month after US District Judge Shelly D. Dick denied Theriot’s motion to dismiss the suit.

The suit, filed in January 2014, alleged that Theriot responded to a November 1, 2013, 911 call and found the woman drunk and unconscious in a parking lot. The 42-year-old woman alleged that Theriot promised not to take her to jail if she performed oral sex on him.

She further alleged that over a four hour period, Theriot gave her vodka while forcing her to perform oral sex, and that she was bound under the desk in his office, and, most astonishingly, that she was forced to hide under Theriot’s desk while he met with the mayor.

Following the court’s order on the motion to dismiss, the woman’s attorney issued the September 8 offer settlement. The suit makes claims against Theriot personally and against the town of Sorrento, for the court found Theriot was the final decision-maker for law enforcement and the actions giving rise to the suit occurred in the exercise of his law enforcement duties.

The lawsuit is only part of Theriot’s problems from his conduct. On October 2, 2014, he was sentences on a guilty plea for lying to FBI agents about having “inappropriate sexual contact” with the woman. Theriot faced six months in jail, but he was sentenced to two years of probation and a $2,500 fine. The federal court took into consideration the fact that Theriot has been assisting the FBI with an ongoing investigation.


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