A LaPlace couple was arrested Tuesday on charges that the husband sexually assaulted his 12-year-old stepdaughter over a span of three years, sometimes in the presence of the girl’s mother, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff’s detectives interviewed the girl and her 14-year-old brother, who together alleged a history of abuse.
The girl recounted her stepfather hitting her in the face with a shoe, while her brother said the man beat him several times with a belt, leaving marks on his body.
The girl’s 31-year-old mother was present for some of the assaults, Sheriff Mike Tregre said in a news release.
“When the girl talked to her mother about the sexual assaults, her mother told her not to tell anyone because she would go to jail,” the release said.
Detectives began investigating Oct. 1 after the girl talked to a school counselor, who reported the allegations to the Sheriff’s Office.
The girl’s stepfather, 28, was arrested Tuesday and booked with aggravated incest, two counts of cruelty to juveniles and on a warrant, Tregre said.
The mother was arrested and booked as a principal to aggravated incest and two counts of principal to cruelty to juveniles.
The Sheriff’s Office declined to name the girl’s stepfather or her mother. The New Orleans Advocate does not name defendants accused of sexually assaulting relatives to protect the identity of victims.
Bond had not been set for either defendant by midday Tuesday.