Baton Rouge Police: DNA evidence links pair to 1995 rape; woman given choice to be raped 'or die' _lowres

Allen Causey, 39

A Gonzales man convicted in the 1995 abduction and rape of a Baton Rouge woman lost his appeal Friday at a state appellate court.

Allen G. Causey, 44, who was found guilty in 2019 of aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to life in prison, claims East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors failed to prove the kidnapping charge because the victim voluntarily entered a car occupied by Causey and his accomplice.

Causey argues the victim did not feel threatened when she entered the car and sat between the two men after they offered to take her home, so the state cannot prove a forcible seizure or that she was enticed or persuaded.

Prosecutors say a kidnapping can occur even when the victim initially consents to being with a defendant.

A three-judge panel of the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Friday that Causey's emphasis on the victim's willingness to enter the car with him "is misplaced."

"The moment the vehicle passed (the victim's) neighborhood, and both men ignored her requests to take her home as they had promised, the voluntary ride became a kidnapping," Circuit Judge John Michael Guidry wrote for the panel, which included Judges Page McClendon and Walter Lanier III.

"By being trapped between the two men in the front seat of the car, (she) was forcibly seized so defendant and his accomplice could rape and strangle her," Guidry stated.

He added that the woman's inability to leave was heightened by the sharp object held to her throat when the two men finally stopped driving around.

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"Compliance or death were the two options presented (to her). Even if aggravated kidnapping was not defendant's original intention when he and the co-assailant picked (her) up, it quickly became apparent that this was their intention when they drove past (her) neighborhood and continued driving until they found a location to commit the aggravated rape," Guidry wrote.

The appeals court affirmed Causey's convictions and sentences. State District Judge Fred Crifasi had sentenced him to concurrent life terms.

Causey's accomplice, Leighton T. Hills, 44, of Baton Rouge, was previously sentenced to 20 years behind bars after pleading guilty to forcible rape.

Causey and Hills were accused of driving up to the woman as she walked along South Choctaw Drive on April 14, 1995, and offering her a ride, a police report states. She initially turned their offer down, but after driving past her several times, she accepted their second offer.

Once in the car, the men drove past the woman’s street, and when she asked where they were taking her, one of the men held a sharp metal object against her neck and said, “She didn’t think she was going to get a free ride without giving up something,” the report says.

She was given a choice to be raped “or die,” the report adds.

Causey and Hills were arrested and indicted in 2016 after DNA evidence linked both men to the crimes, authorities said.

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