Lafayette toddler believed sexually abused before death

LAFAYETTE — DNA analysis of human fluids from 3-year-old Julian Madera’s body strongly suggests a 21-year-old man charged with his murder also had sexual contact with him, according to evidence prosecutors have filed in court.

The report by Acadiana Criminalistics Laboratory stated, “it can be concluded that to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty Landon Broussard is the source of the … DNA profile obtained from the sperm fraction of the seminal fluid” found on Julian’s body.

Broussard was indicted on a first-degree murder charge in Julian’s death in March. On June 5, Broussard was charged with aggravated rape. He has pleaded not guilty to murder, and has not yet been arraigned on the rape charge.

Julian, who would have turned 4 on Jan. 29, was pronounced dead Nov. 29, the day that Broussard brought the boy’s naked, lifeless body to his grandmother’s Kaliste Saloom Road home.

A trove of evidence, including the DNA report, transcripts of detective interviews with Broussard and the boy’s mother, and diagrams showing where Julian’s body was injured over time, was filed into court records last week.

At a hearing Monday, Clay LeJeune, who is Broussard’s court-appointed attorney, asked district Judge Durwood Conque to seal the file. LeJeune said there was a risk of tainting the jury pool in Lafayette Parish if the media had access to the file.

“I don’t know if it would or wouldn’t,” Conque said before agreeing to seal the files.

William Babin, a prosecutor with the District Attorney’s office, said he filed the evidence into the court record because those were Conque’s instructions.

Broussard, who did not speak at the hearing, wore a faded orange and white Lafayette Parish jail outfit with his feet chained together and hands shackled to his waist.

The files, obtained before they were sealed Monday, reveal a troubled relationship between Broussard and Laura Smith. Smith is Julian’s mother and has been charged with second-degree cruelty to a juvenile.

In a journal, part of the court filings and dated days before Julian’s death, Smith writes that she “hates the fact that he (Broussard) hits me (then) apologizes after and says he will never do it again and (then) not even three days later he does it again.

“I know I start it a lot but Damn. … I don’t know what to do anymore. My whole family gave up on me already except my mom,” Smith wrote Nov. 26, three days before Julian’s death.

In an interview with detectives, a tearful Smith said, “I’ve never, never seen (Broussard) hit Julian …”

A diagram of Julian’s multiple injuries shows there was hardly a part of his body that was not bruised.

Julian’s skin also was scratched or stripped on his neck, under his right and left eyes and one eyelid. Investigators also found that Julian’s lips were split, and his scrotum and rectum were torn.