Covering Louisiana

Feb 16, 2011 9:01 AM by Posted by Sharlee Barriere

Jury Convicts New Orleans Cop on 2 Counts

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Henry Hollins, a veteran New Orleans police officer who prosecutors said carried a "portable sex kit" in the trunk of his cruiser, has been convicted of attempted aggravated rape and second-degree kidnapping.
The conviction came Tuesday after a five-day trial. A
40-year-old woman accused Hollins of raping her after stopping her in 2009.
The woman testified that after Hollins' partner left his shift early, Hollins took her to a warehouse and raped her, with his gun and stun gun at arm's length.
Hollins, 47, is scheduled to be sentenced next week. Wednesday's Times-Picayune reported he faces up to 50 years on each count.
Hollins had been indicted for aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping.
The defense hammered the victim's character and trustworthiness during the trial.
Hollins' attorney, Martin Regan, listed several instances when the Mississippi woman said differing things on the stand and to police, such as how many days she had been in New Orleans before the attack. The woman also vacillated about whether she was a prostitute, the extent of her criminal record and whether she had sex that day, Regan said. The woman also resisted saying whether she had filed a lawsuit against Hollins and told different stories
about whether she was handcuffed during her rape, Regan said.
"If you say, 'Maybe she's telling the truth, maybe she's not,"' that qualifies as reasonable doubt," Regan, told the jury during closing arguments. "If you find she has lied to you, you can disregard her entire testimony."
In response, Assistant District Attorney Bobby Freeman accused Regan of disregarding the rape shield law that limits a defendant's ability to cross-examine rape complainants about their past sexual behavior, and argued that it was precisely because of the woman's past criminal and sexual history that Hollins picked her as his
victim.
"He sized her up as fit prey. ... He knew that at the moment he ran her name," Freeman said.
Assistant District Attorney Payal Patel also called Hollins' character into question during closing arguments when she emphasized the "portable sex kit" in the trunk of his police car - a collection of sex toys, unused condoms, male enhancement pills, and a bag of used condoms.
Patel also stressed the importance of testimony from a second woman, who didn't know the victim, who described an experience similar to the victim's. Hollins also drove her around in his police vehicle, while he asked her what she could do for him in exchange for not arresting her, she said. She chose to be arrested, and he didn't rape her, she said.

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