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Fired New Orleans Cop Who Allegedly Sexually Assaulted Teen He Once Brought to Hospital for Rape Kit Now Faces Federal Charge

 
Rodney Vicknair

Rodney Vicknair

A 55-year-old former New Orleans Police officer accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he once brought to a hospital for a rape kit now faces a federal charge.

Federal authorities allege that Rodney Vicknair committed a civil rights violation when he sexually assaulted the victim, identified only as V1 in the document, on Sept. 23, 2o20, exactly two years ago.

Vicknair committed the sexual assault “while acting under color of law as an officer with the New Orleans Police Department,” and “willfully deprived V1 of her right to bodily integrity,” the one-count bill of information alleged.

The feds, alleging that Vicknair “touched V1’s genitalia without her consent and without a legitimate law enforcement purpose, said the defendant’s “conduct included kidnapping.” The kidnapping allegation means that Vicknair faces substantial legal jeopardy.

Here’s what 18 U.S.C § 242 says [emphasis ours]:

Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

As Law&Crime previously reported, Vicknair was fired from the New Orleans Police Department following allegations of rape. The victim’s mother filed a lawsuit in February 2021 alleging that Vicknair was dispatched in May 2020 to “transport” the victim “to the hospital for a rape kit.”

The suspect allegedly “began grooming” the victim on the first night he met her. In the emergency room, Vicknair allegedly showed the 14-year-old pictures of a girl he claimed was his 16-year-old daughter. The other girl was wearing bikinis, lingerie, and held a cloth over herself. The officer allegedly asserted that his daughter was a model.

“Over the next few months, he repeatedly returned to her house in his uniform and NOPD vehicle,” the suit continued, “And during those visits, in uniform and in an NOPD vehicle, Officer Vicknair repeatedly sexually assaulted the minor child.”

“One of those times, he raped her,” the lawsuit said. “Then, days after NOPD was warned of Officer Vicknair’s inappropriate behavior, Officer Vicknair raped [the victim] a second time.”

The lawsuit said police were notified of Vicknair’s conduct on Sept. 25, 2020.

Vicknair raped the victim twice in his patrol car using his fingers, according to the complaint. When he was arrested, he allegedly had the child’s underwear in his possession, the lawsuit said.

As of Friday morning, the federal court docket does not show an attorney of record in the criminal case.

[Image via St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office]

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Matt Naham is the editor-in-chief of Law&Crime.