UPDATE: According to St. Landry Parish District attorney, Chad Pitre, a grand jury today returned a four-count indictment against Kenneth Paul Rene of Opelousas for the aggravated rape and first-degree rape of his victims.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff's deputies arrested an Opelousas man and accused him of human trafficking and rape in connection with the abuse of two children.
Kenneth Paul Rene, 42, was booked with three counts Unlawful Use or Access to Social Media, six counts Human Trafficking, First Degree Rape, three counts Sexual Battery, and three counts Oral Sexual Battery.
The investigation began in January 2021 when school officials called deputies to report that a child had been forced to perform sex acts with Rene at his Opelousas home, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said.
That same day, medical personnel at Opelousas General Hospital also reported the crimes, to Opelousas Police.
During the early stages of the investigation St. Landry Parish Detectives learned that the inappropriate acts occurred at Kenneth Rene’s residence located within the city limits of Opelousas, Louisiana. Sheriff Detectives forwarded the information and investigation to the Opelousas Police Department, the sheriff said.
On August 2, 2022, Opelousas Police Department requested a forensic interview from the Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy Center located in Opelousas, the sheriff said.
Guidroz also said that on August 11, 2022, the forensic interview was conducted. During the interview it was learned that while the female juvenile was at the residence of Rene, he would perform explicit sexual acts on her. She said that Rene would then manipulate, coerce, and force the juvenile to reciprocate the acts on him. The juvenile told the forensic interviewer, as she got older, Rene would give her a white powdery substance that would make her dizzy and tired. When the juvenile awoke, she would be hurting and she was told by Kenneth Rene that they had fun the night before.
The forensic interviewer was informed by the juvenile that the sexual abuse also occurred within the parish outside the city limits prior to January of 2021. The juvenile said that Rene would cause pain to her private area for telling him no, and that Rene would reward her with gifts, food, and lavish trips also.
Immediately following this interview, the Opelousas Police Department and the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office began a joint investigation into this matter, the sheriff said.
On September 27, 2022, a second forensic interview was conducted at the Hearts of Hope Child Advocacy Center in Opelousas. During this interview, the juvenile provided more details relative to the sexual abuse she endured. Investigators also learned that Rene had multiple social media accounts.
On September 30, 2022, Rene was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail with 3 counts of unlawful use or access to social media. Rene has been registered Sex Offender with the St. Landry Parish Sex Offender Unit since September 11, 2006.
Records show Rene is a tier-three sex offender because he was convicted of the aggravated rape of an 11-year-old in 1998 in Texas.
On October 5, 2022, Kenneth Paul Rene was booked with 6 counts of human trafficking and was given a bond of $300,000.
Upon further investigation by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office, it was learned that a second juvenile was the alleged victim of Rene’s illegal sexual activity. The second juvenile stated that when she was four to eight years old, Rene would do inappropriate sexual acts to her, and she would have to do the same to him.
On October 7, 2022, more charges were added to Rene's booking: First degree rape, 3 counts of sexual battery, and 3 counts of oral sexual battery. Rene was given a bond of $310,000 for these charges.
“Something that we would like to bring to light is, even if no sexual act is performed, the promise of something of value in order to obtain a sexual act is still a crime," Guidroz said.
If something like this is happening to you, or has happened to you, or is happening to someone you know, there is help available. You can call the Hearts of Hope 24-hour Crisis Line at 337 233-7273. You can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
You may also call Crime Stoppers at 337-948-TIPS, download the P3 app on your mobile device or simply dial ** TIPS on your mobile phone to tip. All calls are anonymous and you can earn a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.