A woman whose sexual assault examination was not presented to a West Feliciana Parish grand jury that cleared an Angola assistant warden of raping her is accusing the parish's district attorney and sheriff of conspiring to protect her alleged rapist from prosecution.
Priscilla Lefebure makes that claim in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday against West Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, Sheriff J. Austin Daniel, Louisiana State Penitentiary Assistant Warden Barrett Boeker, and West Feliciana Parish.
Lefebure, 24, alleges Boeker raped her on several occasions at his home on Angola property in late 2016. Boeker's wife and their children are Lefebure's cousins.
A grand jury rejected a second-degree rape charge against Boeker in March, but it was revealed later that the panel was not provided the sexual assault forensic examination, commonly known as a "rape kit," and report done by a nurse at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge.
The grand jury that declined to charge a state prison assistant warden in a rape case earlier this month was not provided the sexual assault f…
"Instead of protecting her rights as the victim of a violent crime, the Defendants … violated her rights … by willfully refusing to do their jobs and instead colluding (to) protect an alleged rapist from prosecution," the suit charges.
Daniel said Friday he could not comment on the suit because he had not received a copy of it and his legal counsel had not reviewed it. But when told that the suit alleged collusion in an attempt to protect Boeker, the sheriff said, "I have no reason to protect either one of them."
D'Aquilla responded in an email, saying: "This is the first I have heard of this so no comment until I can review what has been filed."
Boeker's attorney, Cy D'Aquila, a distant relative of D'Aquilla, said previously that Boeker maintains the sex was consensual, and he passed a privately administered polygraph examination on that point.
D'Aquilla said after the grand jury made its decision in March that they did not need to use the rape kit because both the victim and the perpetrator said sexual intercourse had occurred. D'Aquilla said the pertinent question in the case was consent, which could not be tested by the rape kit evidence.
However, Lefebure's lawsuit says the rape examination showed bruising on her inner and upper thighs, right arm and left shin "in the pattern of finger and hand prints."
The suit claims Boeker was given "preferential treatment" instead of being "treated as a suspect in a crime." D'Aquilla said in March that bruising doesn't necessarily mean sex wasn't consensual.
"Ms. Lefebure was treated as the accused from the beginning, and Mr. Boeker was able to use his official position and connections to law enforcement and parish officials to ensure he would not be held accountable for his actions," Lefebure's attorney, Michelle Rutherford, states in the suit.
Boeker, the suit claims, is the only one who claims the sexual encounters were consensual. Boeker and Lefebure both testified in front of the grand jury.
The suit accuses Boeker of, among things, rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In an interview, Rutherford said that if an accused armed robber tells police, "but the store owner gave me the money," they would not ignore the store video surveillance and merely trust the word of the robber.
"`He said she said' is not a proper method of crime investigation or prosecution," Rutherford added. "I do not understand the reasoning."
In June, the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office gave the rape kit to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Daniel acknowledged then that the entire process "should have been done more timely."
The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office on Monday gave the rape kit in the case against an Angola assistant warden to the State Police Crim…
Retired East Baton Rouge Parish sex crimes prosecutor Sue Bernie told The Advocate in March, "If there's a rape exam done, I can't imagine not looking at the sexual assault exam. You'd always want to see that." Bernie's comments are included in Lefebure's suit.
D'Aquilla said in March his office would reopen the case against Boeker if any further evidence is found.
Lefebure's suit seeks monetary damages. It also asks that U.S. District Judge John deGravelles require the West Feliciana district attorney's and sheriff's offices to implement a written policy to collect and review rape kits and sexual assault exams, send them to the crime lab for testing and present them as evidence in grand jury proceedings.
The Advocate typically does not name people who report they are victims of sexual assault, but Lefebure has said she wanted to use her name.