An appeals court has ordered a 38-year-old Golden Meadow man convicted of sex crimes against a girl to be sentenced again because his previous sentence was too lenient.
After hearing a day of testimony July 15, 2018, a Lafourche jury unanimously convicted Rusty LeBouef of one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile for sexually abusing his girlfriend’s daughter two years ago.
LeBouef was originally charged with sexual battery, but the charge was amended to indecent behavior with a juvenile due to the nature of the crime, prosecutors said.
District Judge Buddy Larose sentenced LeBoeuf to 15 years in prison Sept. 21 and ordered him to register as a sex offender. The first two years of his sentence were to be without parole, probation or suspension.
LeBouef, who contended the sentence was unconstitutionally excessive, brought the matter to the Louisiana 1st Circuit Court of Appeal, which rendered its decision Aug. 2.
Instead of reducing LeBouef’s jail time, however, the appeals court ruled his sentence was too lenient, records show.
“Whoever commits the crime of indecent behavior with juveniles on a victim under the age of 13 when the offender is 17 years of age or older shall be punished by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than two nor more than 25 years,” the court wrote in its decision. “At least two years of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence. Defendant’s sentence of 15 years at hard labor is, therefore, illegally lenient because it fails to restrict the possibility of parole in accordance with the terms of the statute. Because the instant sentence involves discretion, it cannot be corrected by this court.”
The appeals court then overturned LeBouef’s sentence and ordered the Lafourche district court to resentence him.
Detectives began investigating LeBoeuf after receiving a complaint in June 2017, the Lafourche Sheriff’s Office said. LeBoeuf was arrested July 14, 2017, after an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip led deputies to a home on East 48th Street in Cut Off, where they found him hiding in a closet.
The 12-year-old victim told detectives LeBoeuf had put his genitals in her hand, authorities said.
LeBouef is incarcerated in the Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson. He is set to be resentenced Sept. 21.
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 446-7639 or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanVCopp.
Posted on Tue, August 13, 2019
by By Dan Copp Daily Comet Staff Writer