Marcellus White

Marcellus White

A second lawsuit has been filed against a former New Orleans police officer accused of molesting at least four boys while serving as a mentor for a well-known fraternity.

The suit, filed in Orleans Civil District Court, takes aim at Marcellus White, who served 19 years with the New Orleans Police Department, as well as the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and its youth auxiliary, where White is accused of meeting the boys he assaulted.

White, 46, has been in custody since his arrest in September. He resigned two months later, according to a Police Department spokesman. Police said he abused at least four boys in 16 years as a karate instructor at the former Iberville housing development and as a mentor at the fraternity.

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office has not yet announced whether it will accept the charges against White, who police said gave an extensive confession under questioning.

White’s attorney, Bruce Whittaker, declined to comment.

For years, the Police Department held up White as a model officer who donated his time to help teach young boys life skills and martial arts. But police said White actually used his position of power to groom and then abuse his victims.

One of White's victims was only 10 years old when White raped him, police said.

The suit filed on Friday states that the victim was a member of the youth auxiliary for the Phi Beta Sigma, a historically African-American fraternity with a strong presence in New Orleans. White served as a president of the Sigma Beta Club.

The accuser is identified only by his initials. The suit states that White “sexually abused” the boy “on several occasions” while hosting him on overnight stays at his house in Algiers.

Meanwhile, the fraternity is accused of failing to prevent the sexual abuse that occurred.

The suit claims the fraternity “negligently failed to stop” the sexual abuse of club members. An attorney for the fraternity did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

“It’s just an horrendous occurrence for which the law simply provides a remedy, and that’s what we’re after. The remedy for the untold damages that have been done to this young man,” said Cleveland Coon, a Baton Rouge-based lawyer who is representing the accuser.

Coon said the accuser is now an adult. The case has been assigned to Judge Paulette R. Irons.

White and the fraternity also were sued in January by another accuser who is still a child. That lawsuit states that White sexually abused the boy while he and his brothers were staying with White at his home in Algiers in February 2016.

The fraternity said in its response to that suit that its national organization “had no knowledge of the local activities of Marcellus White … the activity and incidents alleged were kept hidden from the national organization.”

That suit is assigned to Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.

msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432