KATC Investigates

Jun 26, 2013 12:06 AM by Steven Albritton

One Man Named in Sex Trafficking Case In Lafayette Parish

52-year-old Ryan McCauley, according to Louisiana State Police, is one of the men who 37-year-old Katherine Vidrine brought a child to for sexual purposes. Vidrine was arrested Monday and charged with trafficking and molestation. Tuesday, a judge set her bond at $50,000 and is accused of bringing a child under the age of 12 to multiple homes around Lafayette Parish for sexual encounters. If convicted of human trafficking, Vidrine could face 25 to 50 years of hard labor and a $75,000 fine.

State Police tell KATC, the child has named several men in this case. Some of these men were allegedly involved in the sexual encounters, and one refused to participate. McCauley, who's already been convicted in this case, is now saying he's innocent. He has recently filed documents to get his conviction overturned.

"Through that arrest, as well as other information that we received, we were able to identify the victim, as well as Vidrine, and take the appropriate action that we needed to," Trooper Stephen Hammons of the Louisiana State Police said.

McCauley was arrested in May of 2011 and charged with four felonies. Molestation of a juvenile, indecent behavior with a juvenile, pornography involving juveniles and possession of marijuana. In court documents we obtained, McCauley admits to the judge he watched an inappropriate movie with the underage girl. In 2012, he pleaded guilty to the indecent behavior charge and the other three charges were dismissed. It's unclear why the other charges were dismissed. After McCauley's guilty plea, he was sentenced five years in prison and is required to register as a sex offender.

"We do know that additional arrests will be made in this case. We do know that it is still a very active investigation. We were obligated to take the immediate steps as soon as we were able to identify a victim, to make sure that we located the victim and that we removed the victim from any potential further harm," Trooper Hammons said.

State Police say the child told them that Vidrine profited, through money or other things of value, after the sexual encounters. The child allegedly also told Troopers that Vidrine would even stay in the same room sometimes while the crime was occurring.

"The one good thing out of this case is that the child is safe now. The child will no longer be victimized. That's such a terrible crime. This is the one thing that you can look at and say, at least we were able to rescue you," Trooper Hammons said.

McCauley is hoping to have his plea thrown out. In court documents, he named Katherine Vidrine as the witness who can testify his innocence. He claims that his lawyer sent Vidrine home before his trial, and mislead the judge to believe he was watching pornography alone with the child. McCauley says, Vidrine was in the room with them and they were watching "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." McCauley is due in court August 15th.

Vidrine's human trafficking charge stems from the Jindal administration's tough stance on sex crimes. The law says, trafficking of children for sexual purposes covers anyone involved in the prostitution of a child. Specifically, it targets those who transport, sell or purchase someone under the age of 18 for commercial sexual activity.

 

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