Skip to comments.Former New Orleans Deputy City Attorney Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
Posted on 09/23/2006 4:53:07 AM PDT by mcg2000
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Former Deputy City Attorney Henry A. Dillon III, 48, of New Orleans, has been sentenced to life imprisonment, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten of the Eastern District of Louisiana announced today.
On May 4, 2006, Dillon was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law against two separate victims. In addition, the jury made special findings that the offenses involved aggravated sexual abuse. Federal law defines aggravated sexual abuse as knowingly causing a person to engage in a sexual act by using force against that person.
According to the indictment, Dillon violated the civil rights of both victims while he was a Deputy City Attorney for the City of New Orleans by sexually assaulting each victim. Dillon lured each of the victims to his private law office in New Orleans after meeting them at Municipal Court by asserting that their presence was necessary to complete some court business. Once inside his office, he then forcibly raped each victim.
"Today, a ruthless and dangerous predator is beginning a lifelong federal prison sentence because he committed unspeakable acts of violence against innocent women while disguising himself as a public servant," stated U.S. Attorney Letten. "We in federal enforcement will continue to use all means at our disposal to protect all of our citizens, however young, disadvantaged or vulnerable, from corrupt and dangerous individuals such as Dillon."
U.S. Attorney Letten praised the courage of the victims identified in the indictment as well as those who testified or agreed to testify at trial for their courage in coming forward and providing critical testimony.
This matter was investigated by Special Agents of the FBI and the New Orleans Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael McMahon and Mark Miller, as well as Julie Cullen, a Louisiana Deputy Attorney General who has been appointed Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.
Dillon says he did not attack women
By Michael Perlstein
The four alleged victims were all petite, unsophisticated young women trying to catch a break on traffic tickets or municipal court charges. They testified last week in court that after seeking favors from former assistant city attorney Henry Dillon III, he sexually assaulted them, then threatened to use his position to destroy them if they went to police.
But from the witness stand on Monday, Dillon offered a very different portrayal of the womens testimony, characterizing three of them as the sexual aggressors and himself as the willing recipient. In the fourth case, Dillon flat-out denied ever crossing paths with the woman.
As a federal jury considers Dillons fate in a high-stakes federal case that could send him away to prison for more than a decade, Dillon, 48, took the bold gamble of confronting his accusers head-on, offering matter-of-fact accounts of what he described as consensual, impromptu sexual encounters at his private law office.
The politically connected former prosecutor is accused of violating the civil rights of two of the women by assaulting them, leveraging the power of his office to intimidate them into submitting. The other two women were allowed to testify as supporting witnesses because their accounts closely match that of the two alleged victims in the indictment.
On some points during his testimony Monday, Dillon couldnt recall how the events unfolded. On other points, however, he testified in precise detail, countering the women at every turn. The Times-Picayune is withholding their names to protect their privacy.
Dillon said one of the victims sought his legal representation in a case involving an auto accident, refuting her testimony that he lured her to his office under the guise of taking a drug test. Once in the office, Dillon said, the 20-year-old woman came on to him, kissing him on the neck and lips and, without prompting, removing her clothes.
She had to swivel out of her jeans they were so tight, Dillon said. I said, Wow, look how fine you are.
He then told the 12-person jury how he gently guided the woman onto her stomach across an overstuffed chair and ottoman before having intercourse with her from behind.
Did she scream? prosecutor Julie Cullen asked.
No, I think she was laughing a little bit, Dillon testified.
In response to another one of his accusers, Dillon said a quick sexual encounter became a full-blown affair, leading to more than 10 liaisons over several months. Dillon testified that he even hired the woman to work for a couple of days for a political organization he ran, preparing checks for election-day workers.
It was all consensual, he said. It was a mutual thing.
In last weeks testimony, however, the woman described a much different encounter, saying that despite her protests, Dillon pinned her to the chair with an elbow on her throat while raping her. I was begging and pleading with him, she said tearfully.
Dillon had his own tearful moments on the witness stand, breaking down in tears when asked what he told his wife about his extramarital sex life.
She stood by me and she forgave me and I love her for it, Dillon said as he choked up.
When Cullen asked Dillon if he was angry at his accusers, he answered, Im not angry at them at all. Ive forgiven each one because God has forgiven me and my wife has forgiven me.
The trial is expected to provide more dramatic testimony today as prosecutors prepare to present a fifth alleged victim as a rebuttal witness. U.S. District Judge Lance Africk ruled late Monday that prosecutors can present the witness, although defense attorney Michael Fawer said he is still exploring avenues to block her testimony.
Michael Perlstein can be reached at email@example.com or (504) 826-3316.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Wrong, he would have been named Senator for Life by unanimous acclamation.
Rape isn't properly a federal concern, especially since the assaults took place in his private office. I'm all for punishing rape, but calling these crimes a 'deprivation of rights under color of law' seems like a stretch of Commerce-Clause proportions.
This looks like a mater for the state.
Why even have a state government at all, if the Feds are going prosecute what should be a state mater?
The civil rights laws are making a mockery of the constitution, and are wrong.
Thanks for the link. I had wondered what he looked like.
"Better put some ice on that.."
This looks like a mater for the state.
If you check the link by tommyboy you'll see that Dillon was also arrested for rape in 1998 but no charges were ever brought against him.
In instances where someone commits a serious crime like rape or murder but the state makes no effort to prosecute or only a pro forma effort that fails to convict the Feds often step in and prosecutes the crime as a civil rights violation. It's something that I'm ambivalent about. Sometimes its good because otherwise justice would never be served, however, such prosecutions are all too often politically motivated.
the crime is deprivation of rights "under color of law"; the ordinary rapist doesn't have the force of the state behind him. A judge or prosecutor or sheriff who does it in apparent connection with official duty does. Or the sheriff who beats you to death (see a case from the 1940s in the Supreme Court, US v. Screws)(Yes, the sheriff's name really was Screws!)
I believe there was a state Attorney General from Arkansas that got away with this some time ago.Or was he a governor then?
That's what the Feds prosecuted him for, alright--not for rape. It's just like I said--the state made a weak effort to prosecute the rape charges so the Feds stepped in and prosecuted the case as a civil rights violation.
The crime, you will note, was deprivation of rights, not rape.
It is a law we should use more often.
Against SWAT teams, for instance.
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 13 > § 242 Prev | Next
§ 242. Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Should have used that to prosecute the NOPD when they started confiscating guns.
From what I hear, from a pretty good source,that isn't over yet. Jim Letten is pro-gun.
Reads like Penthouse.
Did they play a porno movie sound track while he gave this testimony?