Man had 3 outstanding warrants for rapes
Sherman Hampton was riding a bicycle along Toledano Street on Tuesday afternoon when New Orleans police stopped him for going against the flow of traffic.
A short time later the 59-year-old man was in handcuffs.
Hampton, however, should not have been on the streets, police said.
A check of Hampton’s name found he had three outstanding warrants for aggravated rape. Two of the alleged assaults happened in the early and mid-1990s, while one occurred 10 years ago.
He was sentenced to 10 years at Angola in 2004 for a burglary and was released Aug. 12 on credit for time served, said Pam Laborde, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.
While he was in prison, though, New Orleans police used DNA to connect him to the rapes, said Officer Hilal Williams, an NOPD spokeswoman.
A detainer was put on Hampton, meaning the Department of Corrections should have held Hampton and contacted the Police Department since there now were warrants out for his arrest, Williams said.
Laborde said, however, that as Hampton’s release date neared, state corrections officials did a standard search for any detainers connected to him but found none. The department also ran his name through State Police and FBI databases but found nothing indicating he should be held or had any outstanding warrants, she said.
“There was no indication there were any pending charges for this individual,” Laborde said. “They (NOPD) say they put a detainer on him, but DOC never got a detainer.”
Detainers are usually faxed or mailed to the DOC.
“If he had a pending detainer or warrant, the NOPD failed to report it outside of their own agency,” said Jimmy Le Blanc, secretary of the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections, in a prepared statement.
Williams could not immediately say whether there was any record of state officials contacting the NOPD before Hampton was released.
Hampton was stopped about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near Toledano and Danneel streets when officers saw him riding a bicycle against traffic.
The first rape he is accused of committing dates back more than two decades.
According to court documents, the 29-year-old victim was sitting at a bus stop about 5:30 a.m. June 28, 1992, at St. Thomas Street and Jackson Avenue when Hampton walked up to her, grabbed her by the throat and forced her inside an apartment.
Hampton shoved a towel into the woman’s mouth and threatened to insert a hanger into her if she did not stop screaming before he raped her, according to court documents. Hampton eventually allowed the woman to leave on her own.
About three years later, police said, Hampton struck again.
An 18-year-old woman was in the courtyard of an apartment complex in the 2100 block of Third Street about 3:20 a.m. May 20, 1995, when Hampton walked up from behind, police said. “B----, if you scream I’ll kill you,” he reportedly told the victim.
She said she turned to see Hampton holding a gun, at which point he grabbed her by her shirt and forced her into a nearby stairwell.
Hampton bent the woman over the stairs, put the gun to her head and raped her, according to court documents.
Hampton is not suspected of committing another rape until about eight years later.
On May 31, 2003, a 26-year-old woman who was asleep inside her home in the 2100 block of South Liberty Street woke up about 4:50 a.m. when Hampton allegedly grabbed her and put a knife to her throat.
Police believe he got into the home through an unlocked back door.
“If you scream I’m going to slice your throat,” Hampton told the victim, according to court documents. He then climbed on top of the woman and raped her, police said.
Sexual-assault tests were performed on each victim after the alleged rapes, according to court documents.
It wasn’t until December 2006 that DNA evidence linked Hampton to the crimes.
The warrant for the 1992 rape was signed on Dec. 19, 2007, while the warrant for the 1995 rape was signed on July 25, 2008, and the warrant for the 2003 rape was signed on Feb. 14, 2008.
Hampton remained jailed Thursday on three counts of aggravated rape, a count of aggravated burglary and second-degree kidnapping. His bond was set at $1.2 million, according to court records.