A three-judge panel of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal on Wednesday adjusted a former Scott pastor’s attempted rape conviction and ordered him to be resentenced in Lafayette.
Ernest Carter Jr., 70, was originally convicted a year ago on a count of attempted aggravated rape, but the court modified the conviction to forcible rape.
The panel ruled the facts behind Carter’s original conviction did not meet the criteria for the attempted aggravated rape charge, as the victim provided no testimony that Carter overcame her resistance with “great and immediate bodily harm.” But the evidence was sufficient to convict him of forcible rape, which does not require evidence of such resistance, judges Phyllis Keaty and John Saunders ruled.
Chief Judge Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux dissented.
“Although it is true that actual resistance is not required, the evidence must support the belief that the victim did not resist because she reasonably believed her resistance to be useless,” he wrote.
That evidence was not presented, Thibodeaux said.
A date for Carter’s resentencing has not been set. He faces from five to 40 years in prison.
Two of Carter’s family members came forward in 2012 with allegations Carter molested them as children in the 1970s. A jury in 15th Judicial District Court found him not guilty on one count of aggravated rape and guilty on one count of attempted aggravated rape. He was sentenced to 25 years hard labor on that original conviction.
Carter was formerly a pastor at New Life Pentecostal Holiness Church.