NOPD Officer sentenced to 3 years for abusing minors

BY Stef Camille
March 31, 2014

Desmond Pratt, 43, a former homicide detective was finally sentenced on Friday of sexually assaulting three young girls. The officer pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was not given the possible 20 years from Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich.

Pratt pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually battery and one count of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile on March 28th.  He was indicted by a grand jury in August 2013 on charges of sexual battery, felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and aggravated incest with a 13-year-old girl, a 15-year-old, and abusing a third underage girl. The incest charge was the most serious, and could have sent Pratt to prison for up to 20 years had he been convicted at trial.

Pratt’s attorney, Robert Jenkins, told the court he felt it was in his client’s best interest to agree to the deal and neither he, nor Assistant District Attorney Jason Napoli, asked the judge for a specific sentence.

Napoli told the judge that the woman who was assaulted when she was 13 – who would now be either 29 or 30 years old – had been willing to testify until very recently, when she apparently changed her mind.

The same went for a 28-year-old woman who Pratt was accused of sexually assaulting when she was 15 years old in 2001. She too, was no longer cooperating, Napoli said.

“She just stopped on contacting us altogether,” he told Zibilich.

“Whether these victims have actually forgiven you is something that I don’t really know,” Zibilich said, adding that the most recent victim’s wish to have Pratt “avoid a steep penalty” hinted that there was “at least some form of forgiveness.”

Jenkins, who has in the past insisted that prosecutors had zero evidence with which to convict his client, said that he felt the outcome was “fundamentally fair.”

Pratt was working with NOPD’s 6th District was suspended without pay since his April 2013 arrest and has not been formally terminated from his job, an NOPD spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

“As is protocol, since Pratt has admitted his guilt, we will move forward with the administrative investigation,” said spokeswoman Remi Braden.

Posted by on Mar 28 2014. Filed under Policing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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