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 Crime Lab, evidence that remained untested for more than six months.
A grand jury issued a no true bill rejecting the second-degree rape charge against Louisiana State Penitentiary assistant warden Barrett Boeker on March 6, but without any evidence from the rape kit.
The victim's rape kit, formally known as a sexual assault forensic examination, was taken at Woman's Hospital in December, well before the grand jury session.
West Feliciana Sheriff J. Austin Daniel admitted the entire process "should have been done more timely."
Sheriff's Office representatives picked up the rape exam results and evidence from the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office a week after the grand jury issued the no true bill. The rape kit has since been in the possession of the Sheriff's Office.
"Once the grand jury came back with a no true bill, I didn't think it was a great big hurry," Daniel said. "I thought it was a moot issue, but evidently it wasn't."
Daniel said West Feliciana District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla suggested two weeks ago the rape kit should should get tested.
"We want to just close all the doors on this case so it cannot be said we did not do this or did not do that — so we sent it," D'Aquilla said Monday.
In March, D'Aquilla told The Advocate the rape kit was not pertinent in the investigation because consent was in question, not whether intercourse occurred. However, sexual crime experts and the victim in this case said the rape kit holds important evidence beyond DNA, like evidence of bruising from the assault.
The grand jury that declined to charge a state prison assistant warden in a rape case earlie…
"I've been asking the DA and West Feliciana Sheriff's Office, discussing getting this evidence, since the very beginning," said Priscilla Lefebure, who alleged Boeker raped her on two different occasions at his home on Angola property. "I just felt like I did it all for nothing and it didn't matter. What was the point of going through all that and then not to even look at or consider (or) look at any of it?"
The Advocate typically does not name people who report they are victims of sexual assault. But Lefebure said she wanted to have her name used.
Lefebure said she has worried about how the Sheriff's Office has treated the rape kit these last three months: if it was properly stored in a refrigerator, if any evidence had been tampered.
"I've wanted it sent because this is my right as a woman, a young, educated woman," Lefebure said. "I wanted to expose the truth about what happened to me."
D'Aquilla said in March his office would reopen the case against Boeker if any further evidence is found.