A Baton Rouge policeman has been placed on administrative leave after a woman accused him of having sex with her in August following a traffic stop.
The Baton Rouge Police Department put uniform patrolman Brad Bennett on paid leave Feb. 19 after a woman came forward and said he had sex with her in late August while he was on duty.
Chris Sonnier, Bennett’s attorney, did not return messages left late Tuesday afternoon.
Franz Borghardt, the attorney representing the victim, said Tuesday that the incident began Aug. 29 when the victim and her roommate were headed home from The Bulldog, a bar/restaurant on Perkins Road, and they were pulled over by police.
The victim’s roommate, who was driving, was arrested on a DWI, according to the police report, and for reasons that are not clear, the victim was not allowed to drive herself home, Borghardt said.
“We believe, of course, that she was impaired,” he said.
Bennett drove the victim to her home where the two had sex, Borghardt said.
Because she was impaired, the attorney said, the victim has shared few details of the incident because she remembers little of what happened.
The victim initially reported the incident to the State Police, who immediately forwarded the information to the Baton Rouge police.
After the victim talked with investigators at the Police Department, they set up a phone call in which she spoke to Bennett about the incident while detectives were listening in, Borghardt said.
According to Borghardt, during the phone call Bennett said the two had sex but denied that the victim was impaired.
Borghardt said Bennett should be arrested.
“He had sex with someone who was intoxicated while on the clock and on duty, and we all paid for him to do it,” Borghardt said.
The Police Department is still in the midst of an internal investigation, which Lt. Jonny Dunnam said typically takes two months from the time an officer is put on paid administrative leave.
In addition, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said his office is taking a look at reports it recently received from Baton Rouge police to determine whether any criminal activity took place.
Borghardt said his client sought out counseling after the incident and has since moved away. She made the complaint about two months after the incident once she built up enough courage to take action, he said.
“This is unusual in the sense that we initially went to the State Police,” Borghardt said. “She was concerned about going to BRPD and having them investigate themselves.”
State Police spokesman Trooper 1st Class Bryan Lee confirmed that she brought the complaint to State Police but said the complaint was automatically forwarded to Baton Rouge police.
“Why they didn’t send the investigation to us, I can’t answer,” Lee said, adding that agencies can ask State Police to investigate if they feel it is necessary. “They’re equipped to handle their own thing.”
Moore said making an arrest in Bennett’s case is up to Baton Rouge police but that if police choose not to and the District Attorney’s Office feels the evidence is questionable, it can bring the case to a grand jury.
Bennett has been a uniform patrolman with the Baton Rouge police since mid-2009, and Dunnam said that to his knowledge the department has never had problems with him before.
Borghardt said this situation clearly called for action, though.
“Obviously, she felt like she was taken advantage of and is concerned about this happening again or happening to someone else,” Borghardt said. “Why is it taking so long to make a decision?”
Follow Danielle Maddox Kinchen on Twitter, @Dani_Maddox4.