By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer|
A former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy accused in September of forcing an inmate to perform oral sex after handcuffing him and taking him to a jail closet has been indicted on charges of second-degree kidnapping, sexual battery and malfeasance in office.
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman fired former Sheriff’s Deputy Dejuan Thomas following the alleged incident. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro obtained the grand jury indictments Thursday.
Thomas was arrested in September, but has been free after posting on bond.
Gusman’s internal-affairs detectives arrested Thomas after being called to the House of Detention facility to discuss an allegation that Thomas had handcuffed the inmate after telling him he had a “sick call,” led him off a jail tier and into a closet where the handcuffs were removed and he was asked to perform oral sex, according to Thomas’s arrest report.
The inmate told invetigators that he performed oral sex on Thomas, then was returned to his tier in handcuffs where he spat some of Thomas’s semen into a condom. Thomas told investigators that he did handcuff the inmate, escort him to a closet and then receive oral sex from him. However, Thomas told Gusman’s detectives that the act was consensual, records show.
The inmate was arrested in August in connection with solicitation charges, which Cannizzaro’s office dropped. The male inmate was wearing a wig in his booking mugshot, which gave the appearance of femininity. The victim was subsequently rearrested in November on fresh solicitation and drug charges, which Cannizzaro’s office accepted and are pending.
Originally, Thomas was charged with second-degree kidnapping, malfeasance in office, and aggravated rape. But Cannizzaro’s office did not pursue the aggravated rape charge, opting instead for a charge of sexual battery.
Cannizzaro’s office declined comment on the indictment. Gusman’s spokesman, Marc Ehrhardt, did not respond to requests for comment from our reporting partners at WVUE-TV.