Gene Bibbins, who spent more than 16 years in the state penitentiary for a 1980s rape before DNA exonerated him, was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison on a second-degree battery conviction.
Bibbins, 54, was accused of punching a woman in the face several times, causing serious bodily injury to her in September 2010. He was found guilty in March.
State District Judge Tony Marabella said Tuesday he would recommend that Bibbins receive drug treatment during his confinement.
“By your own admission you have a serious drug problem,’’ the judge said, adding that the incident involving the woman occurred while Bibbins and the victim were using crack cocaine.
Marabella also noted that Bibbins has a “long history of criminality.’’
East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors are seeking to have Bibbins declared a habitual offender, which could enhance his sentence.
A habitual offender hearing is scheduled for Jan. 9.
Bibbins’ attorney, Bob Hester, declined comment Tuesday.
Bibbins was convicted in 1987 in the aggravated rape of a 13-year-old girl in a Duane Street public housing complex and sentenced to life in prison.
DNA testing later cleared him of the 1986 rape, and he was freed in December 2002.
Bibbins filed a federal lawsuit against the city, and the police officers and technicians who collected the evidence that convicted him. The Metro Council agreed in 2008 to pay a $1 million settlement to him.
The settlement came a year after a federal judge issued a ruling indicating Baton Rouge police may have fabricated and hid evidence to wrongfully convict him.
After Bibbins’ release from Angola in 2002, he pleaded guilty in 2004 and 2008 to forcible rape and cocaine possession, respectively.
Bibbins’ “best interest’’ guilty plea in 2004 to the 1985 forcible rape of a 22-year-old acquaintance in her Beauregard Town home allowed him to use six years of the 16-plus years he had spent in prison to satisfy the sentence in the 1985 case.
DNA tests linked Bibbins to the Beauregard Town incident, which he claimed was consensual sex.
Bibbins was not charged in the 1985 case until about three weeks after he was exonerated in the case involving the 13-year-old and after he sued the city for his wrongful conviction.