At 6:25 p.m., a call to 911 reported an aggravated rape. After investigating for about four hours, police continued to investigate the matter as an aggravated rape, the initial report indicates.
Defined under Louisiana law, aggravating circumstances to a rape include:
—The victim being under age 13, over age 65, or having a physical or mental infirmity.
—Two or more offenders.
—The offender overcoming the victim by force.
—Use of a dangerous weapon in the attack.
—The victim being prevented from stopping the attack by acts or the appearance of great or immediate bodily harm.
The female victim resides on River Road outside the city limits of Berwick, so the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Department is investigating the matter.
Sheriff Mark Hebert declined to release further information regarding a suspect or suspects and whether there is any concern for the community at-large, citing the ongoing investigation.
He did state that patrols have been “stepped up” in the area of the alleged attack and advised citizens to take normal precautions such as locking home and car doors, keeping lights on at night and calling police if they see someone or something out of the norm.
Elsewhere, drug charges topped a list of St. Mary Parish arrests during the last 24 hours.
Derek S. Columbia, 40, of Shivers Street in Patterson was arrested Monday at 10:59 a.m. for second offense possession of marijuana, possession of amphetamines and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sheriff Mark Hebert said detectives were conducting a follow-up investigation into a burglary that occurred on Shivers Street. While speaking with Columbia, a burnt marijuana cigarette was observed in plain view. The detective received consent to search the residence and located drug paraphernalia, a bag of marijuana and several pills.
Columbia was booked into the parish jail where he remained this morning with no bond set.
Rodney Hayes, 27, of Federal Avenue in Morgan City was arrested on Monday at 1:40 p.m. on a warrant for distribution of cocaine.
Hayes already was being held in the parish jail on other charges. He was additionally charged and remained in the parish jail this morning with no bond set.
Jessie L. Williams, 45, of Terrebonne Street in Morgan City was arrested on Monday at 1:45 p.m. on a warrant for distribution of cocaine.
Williams already was being held in the parish jail on other charges. He was additionally charged and remained in the parish jail this morning with no bond set.