Aug 8, 2014 5:58 PM by KATC

Officer molestation victim now filing civil suit against Broussard Police

The victim of molestation by a former Broussard Middle School resource officer has filed a lawsuit against the city of Broussard, its police department, and Broussard Police Chief Brannon Decou.

The woman who filed the lawsuit this week was a 15-year-old eighth grade student at Broussard Middle in 2010 when she asserted that she had a year-long sexual relationship with former officer Henry Bates, then 28.

Bates pleaded guilty to four counts of molestation of a juvenile and one count of oral sexual battery. He was sentenced last year to 20 years in prison.

The victim, who is no longer a minor, is seeking damages and accuses the city and its police department of "failing to protect her from the predatory nature of Henry Bates by not removing him from the school or properly investigating the complaints of the other minor females."

She claims in the lawsuit that Decou was aware of complaints from other minor females who said Bates made inappropriate propositions or touched them improperly.

Decou defends the department's response to Bates in a prepared statement, maintaining that the case "was handled above board by my department."

"What is most disturbing is that the incident being referred to occurred many years ago, which is now politically motivated and attacks the men and women of the Broussard Police Department who work diligently every day to keep the citizens of this city safe."

Decou deferred all other comment about the lawsuit to the Broussard city attorney, who was not immediately available for comment.



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