LIVINGSTON, LA (WAFB) - A man arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a woman and her young son has now been booked on a rape charge.
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office reported Charles Smith, 28, was re-arrested on a charge of aggravated rape. His bond on the rape charge was set at $500,000.
Officials said investigators found evidence to support the victim's claims that Smith raped her. Sheriff Jason Ard said the rape happened in Tangipahoa Parish, but because the original crime started in Livingston Parish, his office will continue to be the lead investigative agency.
Smith was initially booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping of a child and two counts of false imprisonment. He is accused of kidnapping a woman and her 2-year-old child from the Dollar General store in Denham Springs.
Deputies with LPSO said they were contacted on January 24 by the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office about a stolen vehicle chase. They added the driver of the vehicle stopped near Calmes Road in St. Helena Parish, which is just a few miles north of the Livingston Parish line. Reports stated the driver ran off, but the woman and the boy were found in the vehicle.
The woman reportedly told deputies she and her son were taken at gunpoint and were driven across the parish line into St. Helena Parish and possibly into Tangipahoa Parish. Officials said the woman did not know the man who kidnapped her.
Smith's bond for the kidnapping charges was set at $361,000, but a hold was also placed on him by probation and parole.