Westwego — For the second time in two years, a Westwego man is accused of attempting to rape a woman, but this time the attack happened at the Westwego Public Library, police said.
Lorenzo Oliver, 25, was booked with attempted forcible rape and sexual battery by Westwego Police after authorities say he attacked a woman at the city’s library Tuesday and attempted to rape her in the bathroom, according to a police report. Oliver is being held on $250,000 at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Oliver was previously accused of attempted rape in 2011 when a former girlfriend said he tried to rape her at his home when she came to collect their child, according to court records.
Oliver was booked with attempted aggravated rape and second-degree battery. However, Oliver pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic abuse in that case and was sentenced to six months in prison, according to court records. He was allowed to plead to a lesser charge because the victim recanted her account of the rape, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
In both incidents, reports state that Oliver choked his victims before preparing to sexually assault them.
In Tuesday’s incident, the 24-year-old victim went to the Westwego Library on Fourth Street and entered the women’s bathroom at the location, according to an arrest report.
The woman told police that as she entered, a man followed her into the bathroom, and she spotted him behind her in a mirror, the report said. Police said the man grabbed the victim around the neck from behind and began choking her. While choking her, he forced the woman into the handicapped stall in the bathroom, according to the report.
Once inside the stall, the report states the man sexually assaulted the woman before slamming her into the stall’s wall, the report states. The woman said she was finally able to scream, at which point the man fled.
When Westwego Police Officer Corey Boudreaux arrived, he found the victim still inside the stall, the report says. After questioning her and receiving a description of the suspect, the officer examined a security video from the library. Boudreaux said in the report that he recognized Oliver in the video and went to his home at 202 Lake Street. Oliver was arrested without incident.
Boudreaux also investigated the previous sexual assault involving the man. In April 2011, police were called out to Oliver’s home after a woman said he assaulted her in his bedroom, according to a probable cause document.
While the woman was visiting, Oliver asked her to come into his bedroom to talk, and then began making sexual advances toward her, the report said.
According to the report, when the woman rebuffed his advances and tried to leave, Oliver became enraged and started choking her from behind. Oliver continued to choke the woman as she tried to fight him off, but she briefly lost consciousness, the report states. When she awoke, Oliver had partially removed her clothing, the report states.
The woman said Oliver climbed on top of her while holding her on the ground, according to the report. Oliver’s mother was then able to force her way into his bedroom and tried to pull her son off the woman without success.
Oliver’s mother finally managed to get him to stop the attack when she grabbed him in the groin, according to the report. She later told the victim to kick Oliver and run, the report states.
On Thursday, things were quiet at the Westwego Library and patrons appeared to be unaware of the attack earlier in the week. The library’s bathrooms are across from its front door and are separate from the main reading area.
Terrin Guillerman was visiting the facility with two young children and said it was “very concerning” that someone could be attacked in such a public place.
Guillerman, who lives in Westwego and visits the library frequently, seemed surprised that patrons hadn’t been alerted about the incident by authorities.
“I hadn’t heard about that, and I’m here like every day,” she said.