crimes

Slidell, Louisiana’s Rodney Vicknair pleads guilty to federal civil rights offense

Rodney Paul Vicknair, 55, of Slidell, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States is a former police officer with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). He joined the police force in 2007.

In 2009, Vicknair took down a woman’s license plate number at a grocery store parking lot so he could look up her personal information. Because of the incident, he was suspended for five days.

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In May 2020, Vicknair escorted a girl, then 14, the hospital to undergo a forensic examination called a rape kit. She was a victim of sexual assault and he was working in his capacity as an NOPD officer.

Vicknair gave his cellphone number to the girl and offered to be her friend and mentor. They later spoke on the phone and exchanged messages on Snapchat.

While in uniform, Vicknair often stopped by unannounced at the girl’s residence. On the evening of September 23, 2020, he arrived at her house and told her to come outside and get into his vehicle.

The girl got into the passenger’s seat while Vicknair remained in the driver’s seat. After locking the doors, he leaned over toward her and sexually assaulted her by intentionally touching her genitals under her clothing without her consent.

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On September 25, 2020, the NOPD was notified of Vicknair’s conduct. On September 26, 2020, he was arrested at his home in Slidell.

Originally, Vicknair pleaded not guilty to molesting the girl. But on November 16, 2022, Vicknair pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old crime victim in violation of her constitutional rights.

The former NOPD officer admitted that he acted without a legitimate law enforcement purpose and he was aware that he knew his actions were wrong and against the law. On March 8, 2023, he will be sentenced.

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