NEW IBERIA — A 16-year-old inmate found hanged in his cell Saturday had been accused of raping an adult woman at gunpoint during a July home invasion.
Daquentin Thompson was being held at the Iberia Parish Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bail while waiting for his Feb. 9 trial, according to the Iberia Parish Clerk of Court’s office.
Court records show Thompson pleaded not guilty Sept. 25 to one count of aggravated rape.
An Iberia Parish grand jury indicted Thompson Sept. 4 and ordered him tried as an adult for the crime, at which point he was moved from the Assumption Parish Youth Detention Center in Napoleonville and into the Iberia Parish Jail.
The victim identified Thompson as her assailant on Aug. 4 from a six-photo lineup, according to his arrest affidavit.
Thompson was arrested for possessing stolen property Aug. 1 after police tracked the victim’s cellphone to his bedroom in St. Edwards Subdivision at 900 Mississippi St., less than a mile from where the July 31 rape occurred, said Maj. Ryan Turner, spokesman with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Thompson maintained his innocence before his mother and the questioning officer, blaming the crime on a person he knew as “J,” according to the affidavit. He said he stayed outside while “J” broke into the home, then was asked to keep the cellphone when “J” came out with it.
The victim told authorities she was raped while her assailant brandished either a rifle or shotgun, then the assailant took her cellphone and left the house, according to the affidavit.
Thompson was pronounced dead of an apparent suicide at an area hospital after jailers found him hanging in his cell Saturday at 11:53 p.m., Turner said.
Jailers said Thompson was being held alone in his cell at the time of the incident, although no further details on his death’s circumstances are available, Turner said.
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