A Geismar man accused of punching and raping a woman more than two years ago in Ascension Parish received probation and no jail time after he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge that didn't acknowledge a rape occurred, court papers say.
Roderic West, 46, admitted he punched the woman at a motel on Oct. 17, 2020, when she arrived later than expected. He also admitted he later had sex with her — though she initially refused him but relented to his demands out of fear, a plea agreement says.
The plea deal this week comes about a month after West's defense attorney, Travis Turner, asked a judge to throw out the case because prosecutors had failed to turn over the victim's medical records for nearly two years.
In court papers, Turner claimed the records contained information pointing to his client's innocence.
During the wait for the woman's medical records, in June 2022, both sides had also agreed to continue the case because they had been "working toward resolving this matter without trial."
A hearing on Turner's dismissal motion had been set for Monday, but West instead pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of a crime against nature, court minutes say.
Prosecutors also agreed to drop the count of second-degree rape, which would have brought mandatory prison time with a conviction.
In the plea, West acknowledged that he was angry over the woman's late arrival at the place where they had planned to meet and talk. He punched her several times and knocked her to the ground.
West also admitted that, when he demanded sex from the woman and she refused, he threatened to hit her again, leading the woman to fear for her life.
Under the terms of the deal, Judge Jason Verdigets of the 23rd Judicial District Court gave West a deferred three-year prison sentence and two years of supervised probation, court papers say. West also paid restitution of $2,274, minutes say.
Turner declined on Thursday to comment about the plea.
An email for comment to Tyler Cavalier, a spokesman for District Attorney Ricky Babin, and a call to the prosecuting attorney, Leila Braswell, were not returned by Friday.